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Tejas nears missile test after I-Derby integration

Rafael has completed the integration of its I-Derby beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile on India’s Aeronautical Development Agency Tejas light combat aircraft, with a first test firing scheduled for the end of this year.

Yossi Horowitz, director of marketing and business development at the Israeli company’s air superiority systems division, says the I-Derby will become the Tejas fighter’s main air-to-air weapon following the completion of testing. India could also later equip its single-engined aircraft with Rafael’s latest extended-range (ER) version of the missile, he adds.

According to Rafael, the I-Derby ER has a range of up to 54nm (100km), with the weapon also carrying a new radar seeker. The missile can be deployed from a fighter’s rail launchers, or by using a “shove” pyrotechnic charge that jettisons it from a fuselage stores station before its rocket motor ignites.

Meanwhile, Rafael is also preparing to offer its Spike ER air-to-surface missile to meet an Indian requirement for helicopter-launched weapons. A previous tender failed to advance after potential bidders were unable to match New Delhi’s requested technical specifications. Rafael will offer the 4.3nm-range Spike ER in combination with a new launcher.

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