Ramping up its modern aerial warfare capabilities, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday successfully tested the Israeli Python-5 air-to-air missile by deploying it on the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft.
The test-firing was conducted in Goa and a video of the same was released by DRDO. Tejas now has the unmissable capability to destroy high-speed manoeuvering aerial targets, which would help it in tracking and shooting deadly drones.
“The test-firing of the two missiles at Goa completed a series of trials to validate their performance under extremely challenging scenarios. The Derby missile achieved a direct hit on a high-speed manoeuvering aerial target. The Python missiles also achieved 100% hits, thereby validating their complete capability,” a DRDO official was quoted as saying who further added, “After successful separation trials at Goa, the live launch of the Python on a Banshee target was carried out. In all the live firings, the missile hit the aerial targets,”
Tejas, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its weapons capability yesterday, 27th April 2021. Trials were also aimed to validate enhanced capability of already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM. pic.twitter.com/HrvtlGefVZ
— DRDO (@DRDO_India) April 28, 2021
The importance of drones in modern warfare cannot be understated, now more so than ever. Reported extensively by TFI, the 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia war will go down in history as the first war where drones single-handedly turned the tide in the favour of the former. Militaries all around the world closely watched the conflict – and it provided a glimpse of the battlefields of the future. Drone strikes destroyed artillery and air defense systems along with tanks belonging to Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh forces.
China, India’s notorious neighbour which is perpetually on the prowl to attack the borders of the country has been gradually amassing drone fleets. And if the situation turns grim once again like it had last year after the border conflict at Eastern Ladakh, the CCP might authorize the use of drones to take down Indian military outposts.
Reported by TFI, China is selling its deadly Artificial Intelligence (AI)-backed ‘Blowfish’ drones to the war-torn Middle East as well as Central Asia and Africa. These unmanned aerial war machines are capable of launching deadly, fully autonomous strikes with their effective arsenal of mortar shells, grenade launchers and machine guns.
Between 2008-2017, China sold 88 drones to a total of at least 12 countries, across the Middle East and North Africa. Out of these 68 drones were lethal, combat drones. This is in sharp contrast to the US which sold 351 drones in the same time period, out of which only 62 were combat drones and also Israel, which sold 186 drones, out of which 56 were combat drones.
With an enemy that is not only manufacturing deadly drones but also selling them on scale, India has started taking quick countermeasures.
Under the Indian Air Force’s Rs 3,500 crore ’Project Cheetah’, the IAF is looking to upgrade the 90 Heron drones with laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground, and air-launched anti-tank guided missiles in order to carry out combat operations against enemies.
It is also reported that India’s bid to procure combat ready UAVs is in the final stages. Now, the Indian Army has decided to boost its existing fleet of drones with Made-in-India drones as it has struck a deal with Navi Mumbai based IdeaForge for the SWITCH UAVs as a part of its tactical drones fleet for its infantry troops and will be deployed in high-altitude areas like Ladakh. The deal is reportedly worth Rs 140 crore.
The installation of the lethal Israeli missiles on the Tejas jets might be a shot in the arm moment for the Air Force but more such concerted efforts are needed if an enemy like China has to be kept under the thumb.