All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

LCA Tejas, the indigenous light combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force, is undergoing a transformation with the integration of an array of homegrown weaponry. This article explores all Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas, including the Rudram and Astra missiles, the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon, the Large Range Glide Bomb, and the mysterious Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA).

Additionally, it delves into the Advanced Self Protection Jammer and the AESA radar, UTTAM, which enhance the Tejas’s electronic warfare capabilities. The article concludes with a look at the strategic significance of these developments for India’s defense capabilities.

Here are All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

Rudram 1

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas
Rudram 1

Rudram, India’s premier anti-radiation missile (ARM), is a Surface-to-Air missile crafted by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization). It is also referred to as the Next-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM). The name “Rudram” translates to “remover of sorrows.”

Rudram is a key component of the Tejas Indigenous Weapon Package. Its primary function is to detect, track, and neutralize the radio frequency sources of adversaries, including radars, communications systems, and other RF sources. This is achieved through the use of GPS and inertial navigation, along with a sophisticated computerized mechanism.

The missile employs a Passive Homing Head system, which enables it to identify, classify, and engage a broad spectrum of radio frequency sources. Even if the radiation source is turned off, Rudram can accurately attack its target once it has been locked on. The missile has a range of over 100 kilometers, depending on the launch parameters of the fighter jet.

Rudram-1 is specifically designed to target enemy air defenses (SEAD), suppress enemy air defenses, destroy enemy communication systems, and monitor radar sites. It has a range of 250 kilometers and a speed of Mach 2, which is twice the speed of sound. Rudram-2 and Rudram-3, with ranges of 350 and 550 kilometers, respectively, are currently under development.

The weaponry developed by DRDO is manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Astra

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

Launched in the early 2000s, the Astra project completed its development phase for the Mk 1 version around 2017. Since then, Astra has undergone several successful tests from Sukhoi MKIs.

The Astra MK-1 falls into the category of Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air to Air Missiles (AAM). These missiles can engage targets beyond a range of up to 37 kilometers. The name “Astra” is derived from an ancient language and translates to “Weapon.”

Astra Mk-1 currently has a range of 110 kilometers, while the Mk-2 version is currently under development and is expected to have a range of 150 kilometers. The third version, Astra MK-3, will have an even longer range than the MK-2.

Strategically, Astra holds significant importance as it is an indigenous weapon developed by DRDO, which reduces dependency on foreign sources.

DRDO is the Ministry of Defence’s R&D (Research and Development) wing, intending to provide India with cutting-edge defense technologies.

The missile has been developed in line with the requirements of the Indian Air Force, particularly focusing on Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and close air combat engagement.

AAMs with BVR capabilities offer fighter aircraft significantly extended standoff ranges, enabling them to neutralize enemy airborne assets without exposing themselves to air defense measures. Standoff range denotes the distance from which the missile is launched, ensuring it is far enough away to evade target defenses.

Astra is more advanced and cost-effective than many of its competitors. It has the capability to travel faster than the speed of sound and reach altitudes of up to 20 kilometers, making it highly adaptable for air combat scenarios.

The missile has been successfully integrated into the Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft and is set to be incorporated into other fighters, including the LCA Tejas, where it will serve as the primary BVR missile. The combination of Tejas’s onboard AESA radar and the Astra missile is expected to make the Tejas a formidable fighter jet.

SAAW ( Smart Anti Air Field Weapon) 

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

In the Tejas indigenous weapon package, one of the standout components is DRDO’s Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW). This weapon is a long-range, precision-guided anti-airfield weapon capable of engaging terrestrial targets at a distance of 100 kilometers with remarkable precision.

SAAW is a lightweight, high-precision guided bomb designed to target ground structures such as runways, bunkers, aircraft hangars, and other enemy infrastructure. Weighing 120 kilograms (approximately 260 pounds), it possesses deep penetration capabilities and carries a powerful explosive payload.

The long standoff range of 100 kilometers allows the Indian Air Force to strike targets, such as enemy airfields, without putting pilots and aircraft at risk. This marks DRDO’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon.

SAAW has already been successfully tested and fired from various aircraft, including the Jaguar and Sukhoi 30. It is set to be integrated with the LCA Tejas, further enhancing its lethality and effectiveness.

LRGB: Large Range Glide Bomb

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

Another notable component in the Tejas indigenous weapon package is the range glide bomb. DRDO has developed two versions of this glide bomb: Gaurav and Gautham.

Gaurav has a range of 100 kilometers and is equipped with a pre-fragmented and penetration-blast warhead. On the other hand, Gautham, the non-winged variant, currently has a range of 30 kilometers but is expected to be upgraded to a 100-kilometer range. Both versions are equipped with onboard navigation, guidance systems, and a pre-fragmented warhead.

Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA)

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

This mystery weapon has a negligible amount of official information available. However, it’s very similar in looks and structure to Israel-made spice kits. Tara is a precision guide smart kit that can convert a general bomb into a precision strike weapon. 

ASPJ ( Advance Self Protection Jammer) 

It plays the role of an ECM electronic countermeasure system that jams the hostile radar signal, thus protecting the Tejas. Tejas has an ‘Advanced Self Protection Jammer’ to block the acquisition, fire control, anti-aircraft, and multirole radars. Developed in Hyderabad, it gives the LCA electronic warfare capabilities. Integrating missiles, radar, and EW systems into LCA increases its indigenous content and makes it mission-ready. 

AESA Radar: UTTAM

All Indigenous Weapons of LCA Tejas

The fourth-generation LCA Tejas’ capabilities are supplemented by an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar (Uttam), five airborne propelled weapons, and an Electronic Warfare (EW) Jammer. The ‘Uttam’ radar is a cutting-edge sensor that is exceedingly compact and versatile. The radar is created at a facility in Bangalore.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the LCA Tejas is being integrated with a suite of indigenous weapons developed by DRDO, offering the Indian Air Force advanced capabilities in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. These weapons, including the Rudram and Astra missiles, SAAW, LRGB, TARA, ASPJ, and Uttam radar, enhance the Tejas’s effectiveness, reduce dependency on foreign sources, and elevate India’s defense capabilities. As the Tejas continues to evolve and integrate these systems, it is poised to become a formidable fighter jet in the Indian Air Force’s arsenal.

FAQs

Q: What is the LCA Tejas?

A: The LCA Tejas is a light combat aircraft developed by India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Q: What is the significance of the LCA Tejas?

A: The LCA Tejas is India’s first indigenously developed and manufactured fighter aircraft. It represents a significant step towards self-reliance in the defense sector.

Q: What weapons are being integrated into the LCA Tejas?

A: The LCA Tejas is being integrated with indigenous weapons such as the Rudram and Astra missiles, the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), the Large Range Glide Bomb (LRGB), and the Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA) kit.

Q: What is the Rudram missile?

A: The Rudram missile is India’s first anti-radiation missile (ARM), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is designed to identify, track, and neutralize enemy radio frequency sources, including radar, communications, and RF sources.

Q: What is the Astra missile?

A: The Astra missile is an air-to-air missile developed by the DRDO. It is designed to engage targets beyond visual range (BVR) and close air combat. The Astra Mk-1 has a range of 110 km, while the Mk-2 is under development with a range of 150 km.

Q: What is the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)?

A: The SAAW is a long-range, precision-guided anti-airfield weapon developed by the DRDO. It can engage terrestrial targets at a range of 100 km with high precision.

Q: What is the Large Range Glide Bomb (LRGB)?

A: The LRGB is a glide bomb developed by the DRDO. It has two versions: Gaurav, with a range of 100 km and a pre-fragmented and penetration-blast warhead, and Gautham, with a range of 30 km that is expected to increase to 100 km.

Q: What is the Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation (TARA) kit?

A: The TARA kit is a precision-guided smart kit developed by the DRDO. It can convert a general bomb into a precision strike weapon.

Q: What is the Advanced Self-Protection Jammer (ASPJ)?

A: The ASPJ is an electronic countermeasure system developed by the DRDO. It is designed to jam hostile radar signals and protect the LCA Tejas from enemy air defenses.

Q: What is the Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA Radar)?

A: The AESA Radar, also known as UTTAM, is a fourth-generation radar developed by the DRDO. It is compact and versatile and enhances the LCA Tejas’s capabilities.

Q: How do these weapons enhance the LCA Tejas’s capabilities?

A: These indigenous weapons enhance the LCA Tejas’s capabilities by providing them with advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, reducing dependency on foreign sources, and increasing their electronic warfare capabilities.