DRDO Plans Integration of MBDA ASRAAM missile in LCA TEJAS
According to DRDO officials, ADA and HAL are contemplating integrating another Short Range Air-to-Air Missile in addition to Python-5 and R-73 air-to-air missiles (AAMs) which have already been integrated with LCA-Tejas.
ADA and HAL are looking at MBDA’s ASRAAM has another weapon that is being considered for the aircraft. HAL already as been tasked to integrate the ASRAAM to a helmet mounted display for the air force Jaguar DARIN III upgrade, so no challenges are expected in the integration of the weapon with the Tejas.
In 2014, India & UK signed a deal to procure 384 ASRAAM from MBDA to replace the ageing Matra Magic R550, to be integrated onto the SEPECAT Jaguar strike aircraft. Python-5, R-73 and Derby air-to-air missiles at present are AAMs which have been integrated into LCA-Tejas and next AAM selected for LCA-Tejas is indigenously developed Astra BVRAAM which recently has carried out few pre-production trials successfully and will enter mass production soon.
The addition of ASRAAM into LCA-Tejas might be to offer IAF choice and combination of AAMS which they will like to use in combat.