The Indian Air Force plans to include more Israeli weapons and missiles in all its fighter jets, including the indigenous HAL Tejas, meant for light combat. The HAL Tejas is Indian Air Force’s first indigenous supersonic, multirole light fighter jet, which is being equipped with latest Israeli Spice Smart Bombs.
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According to the Israeli media and EurAsian Times, the Indian Air Force will be testing the advanced Israeli developed systems on HAL Tejas and explore its integration potential with the light combat aircraft. IHLS, an Israeli news website specialising in security and technology claimed that the Indian Air Force will test air to air missiles and air to ground weapons systems on the LCA Tejas.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already testing the Israeli missiles on one of the squadrons of the LCA Tejas fighter jets. The IHLS claimed that the Israeli Rafael Spice Smart bombs are also being tested by the IAF on its fighters. The Israeli Rafael Spice Smart bombs GPS or other navigation systems to destroy targets with precision.
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As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, Tejas is a four plus generation combat fighter which is nearing its final operational clearance. The HAL Tejas in April test fired the 118 kg Israeli Rafael 1 Derby Air To Air Beyond Visual Range Missile from the second time near Goa. The first test of the Derby missile by Tejas was conducted in a RADAR based mode on May 12, 2017.
The IAF after the operational clearance will induct 324 Tejas fighter jets into service. This will make up for the falling squadron strength in the Indian air force. In July 2017, two Tejas fighters were inducted into service by the IAF.
The Tejas LCA fighters are meant to be developed for the Indian Air Force as well as the Indian Navy. DRDO is already working on the advanced versions of the Tejas fighters known as the Tejas Mark II jets.