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12:01 PM, February 7, 2019
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LCA Tejas (image: tejas.gov.in)

India's indigenously-made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is likely to be equipped with air-to-air missile ASRAAM.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and MBDA are set to hold formal talks this week to arm the aircraft with the heat-seeking close combat air-to-air missile, The Print reported Wednesday.

The development has come at a time when the Indian Air Force (IAF) is thinking of standardising the missile across its fleet.

The missile has been integrated with the IAF's Jaguar strike aircraft. Two Su-30MKIs will soon get the ASRAAM as a test project, after which India plans to equip the entire Sukhoi Su-30MKI fleet with the missile in a phased manner.

MBDA is also set to tell the HAL that the Beyond Visual Range Meteor missile cannot be integrated with the Tejas LCA because of the Israeli Elta AESA radar that HAL and IAF Tejas have chosen for Tejas Mark 1A, said sources.

Weighing 88 kg, ASRAAM is a Within Visual Range (WVR) Dominance weapon. It accepts target information via the aircraft sensors, such as the radar or helmet mounted sight but can also act as an autonomous infrared search and track system, the report stated further.

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