Hello defence lovers! Prior to the republic day parade 2022, DRDO has released an image that shows the indigenous Tejas weapon package, WE suits, and sensors. In this article, we are going to decode all these weapons to understand how formidable our homegrown fighter is.
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Astra Mk 1 is the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air to air missile (AAM). It has been indigenously developed by our DRDO. It is meant to replace all the soviet era air to air missiles such as R77 and R73. It is powered by a single pulse rocket motor which gives it a maximum range of 110 km. However, it will have a minimum no escape zone of at least 30 kilometers. Astra has been successfully integrated with the Su 30 MKI and it will be soon test-fired from Tejas. It will be Tejas’s Primary BVR missile. Combined with Uttam AESA radar in Tejas MK 1A, Astra will make Tejas a lethal platform. Tejas is small and the majority of its parts are made out of composites. Thus Tejas’s Radar cross-section will be very low and hence Tejas will be able to lock its target first.
DRDO has displayed Rudram 1 in the Tejas weapon package. Rudram 1 is an indigenously developed air to surface anti-radiation missile. It is also known as Next generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM). Anti Radiation missiles are those missiles that home into the enemy’s radar following the radio waves it emits. These home into the source of radiation hence these are called Anti-Radiation missiles. These are used for Suppression of Enemy Air Defence System (SEAD) missions. Rudram 1 has a maximum range of 250 kilometers depending upon the flight altitude. It will make Tejas capable of performing SEAD roles.
SAAW Smart Anti Airfield weapon
Image Credit @Kuntal_Biswas (Twitter)
DRDO has also displayed its SAAW in the Tejas weapon package. SAAW stands for Smart anti airfield weapon. It is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon. This weapon can be used to destroy the runways of the airfield so that enemy fighter jets can neither land nor take off from that airfield making the airbase non-operational. SAAW has a standoff range of 100 kilometers. It is equipped with an 80kg high penetration Cum Blast warhead that can create huge craters on the runway. It can be fired from Su 30MKI, Hawk-i, Jaguar and would be soon integrated with Tejas.
Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA)
Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA) is a guidance kit that is under development by DRDO. IT will turn dumb bombs into precision-guided ammunition. It is an indigenous version of the Israeli spice 2000 kits which were used in the Balakot airstrikes.
LRGB Large Range Glide Bomb
DRDO has developed a series of glide bombs. These bombs are precision-guided ammunition with a mid coarse internal navigation system and terminal semi-active laser homing. There are two variants of these bombs. The first one is Gaurav which is a wing bomb of 1000 kilograms and has a maximum range of 100 kilometers when released from a flight altitude of 10 km. The second one is called Gautham (non-winged) which is a 500 kg bomb with a 30 km range. These can be equipped with two types of warheads-fragmentation and cluster. Tejas equipped with these glide bombs will be lethal for air to ground roles.
Tejas MK 1A will be equipped with Uttam AESA radar which is an indigenously developed radar. We have already discussed a lot about Uttam AESA radar in various articles. Tejas is also shown with an Advanced self-protection jammer which will be an indigenous jammer. It will deceive incoming active and semi-active radar homing missiles by jamming and interfering with their signals. It will enhance Tejas’s protection by many folds.
Thus in the upcoming days, our indigenous fighters will be equipped with indigenous weapons. This will ensure their seamless integration with all the desired platforms. This will also make Indian fighters more reasonable product for export.