India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be equipped with a long-range missile of the Meteor class for enhanced capability.
The missiles are required to be equipped on the 83 Mark 1A LCAs for which an order has been placed by the air force with the public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, government sources told India Today.
"The request for proposal has asked the aircraft to be equipped with a long range beyond visual range missile of the class of Meteor which can take out enemy aircraft in the range of more than 100 kilometres. This would help the LCA get an edge over the aircraft with adversaries," the sources said.
The LCA Mark 1A, which will be lesser capable than the LCA Mark 2 which is under development by the DRDO agencies, lacks certain capabilities when compared to the other planes but with a longer range missile, it can take down the enemy aircraft without coming in their striking ranges, the sources added.
Meteor is a next generation, active radar-guided, beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) system. The missile is being developed by MBDA Systems.
India has bought a package of the European Meteor missiles along with the Rafales.