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Air-to-Ground Range activated for Tejas flight trials: DRDO

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

BANGALORE (PTI): The Challakere DRDO Test Range in Karnataka became operational Wednesday with the first ever bomb testing experiments of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, though the total infrastructure and other logistic facilities are yet to be completed.

The financial support in full form is also awaited for the Range.

Dr Prahlada, the Chief Controller, DRDO, said, "The successful test also signifies a major milestone in the field of aeronautical developments in the country which is a proud moment for the entire scientific community".

Other than LCA tests, this facility would also be used for various tests of UAV flights and electronic warfare systems.

P S Subramanyam, Programme Director (CA) and Director, Aeronautical Development Agency, said Tejas PV-2 aircraft piloted by Gp Capt (Retd) R R Tyagi dropped practice bombs on the target.

Thus NFTC, ADA became the first to use the facility for weapon testing on Tejas. For this purpose, air-to-ground target and Range Safety Officer (RSO) bunkers were constructed at the range site. NFTC mobile telemetry with Test Director and critical system monitoring personnel were also positioned at the test range.

The mobile telemetry was linked to the base station Bangalore, through BSNL fiber optic link to monitor the test aircraft data and video in real-time.

"Availability of the range at a reasonable distance from Bangalore is expected to have a beneficial effect on clearance to air-to-ground weapon, integrated with various sensors onboard Tejas," DRDO said in a statement.

It was noted that consequent to operationalisation of Bangalore International Airport (BIA), Air-to-ground range at Kolar was deactivated, as it was coming in the traffic path of the BIA.

Accordingly, the Karnataka state government had allocated suitable land at Chellakere near Chitradurga to set-up a full-fledged Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), for use by all the aeronautical system developers in the country.

While work is going on to set-up the facility under the guidance of Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), ADA, took the initiative to activate the air-to-ground range for the ongoing air-to-ground weapon and drop tank jettison trials of Tejas, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft.


Tejas  aircraft  

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