Thursday, October 25, 2007

Newsflash: LCA Fires Missile

This is a newsflash from Chacko Joseph of Frontier India, who has confirmed that the LCA PV-1 has successfully fired a Vympel R-73 Air to Air Missile during Missile Trials in Dabolim, Goa.

This is a HUGE step forward for Indian Aerospace, and marks a turning point in the Operational Clearance process for the Tejas, and marks the first milestone of the weaponization process. Many more trials will have to be conducted, but this is a first step.

I saw a picture of the first LCA test flight. The whole team was up in the air, like little schoolboys cheering in a cricket match, without thought of the VIPs and VVIPs around (many of whom were also jumping up and down in glee). Today would have been the second of such cheerfully tearful days. Congratulations to the LCA team, and all those who poured their heart and soul into the program, which is finally bearing fruit. And Congrats to Chacko Joseph who first reported this news. Keep it up all.

Heres the report from Frontier India (link):

LCA firing the R-73 (Pictures courtesy DRDO, taken from Frontier India)

Tejas fires its first missile

Written on October 25, 2007 – 6:53 pm | by FIDSNS |

The Light Combat Aircraft ‘TEJAS’ program achieved the most significant milestone yet when it successfully test fired the Close Combat Missile R-73 today at the air to air range off Goa coast. The historic event marks the beginning of weaponisation, which is the focus of the current initial operational clearance (IOC) phase of the program. Air to Air missile integration and testing especially on a fly by wire aircraft is a very complex task involving interfaces with aerodynamics, engine air intake, control laws, flight control system, avionics system, electrical and other general system of aircraft. Today’s successful test firing is the culmination of preparatory work under the guidance of Mr. JJ Jadhav, DPD (Weapon Systems) and Mr. Balasubramanyam, AGM (HAL). Accordingly the main objectives of test firing were to validate:

•Safe separation of the missile from the parent aircraft.
•Effect of missile plume on engine air-intake
•Functionality of store management system (SMS) including safety interlocks
•Effect of missile plume on composites structures
•Handling quality assessment during missile launch

The historic flight was done on Tejas prototype vehicle PV-1, piloted by the Chief Test Pilot of the National Flight Test Centre ADA, Gp Capt. N. Harish. The test firing was done at 7 km altitude and 0.6 Mach.... (read more)

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