It's official. It's raining bombs in Pokhran! Three test platforms from the Tejas flight-line -- LSP-2, LSP-5 and PV-3 -- is scripting a new chapter in India's light combat aircraft program. As reported by Tarmak007 earlier, the crucial weapon trails of Tejas are currently underway at the Chandan and Pokhran ranges of Rajasthan. Sources confirm that 10-12 sorties have been completed so far. Pick of these fire-works were the dropping of laser-guided bombs (LGBs), which according to sources was demonstrated by Tejas as per the plan.
"The practice bombing sorties gave good results. We are here till the month-end. Now, we have lined-up crucial drop-tank jettison tests. This included the trials of empty, partially-full and full drop-tank tests. It is a time-consuming exercise. Yesterday we had 2 sorties of empty jettison and practice bombing sessions. We dropped 1000 pounds, 400 pounds and even 25 pounds bombs. LGBs were also released," a senior official, part of the 200-strong contingent said.
Sources claim that the initial results of these weapon trials were "'really encouraging'' and the team will soon start analyzing the inputs. "Once we get the complete data, then we will be able to map all the profiles of these trials. Remember that these are extremely critical ones as we are currently undertaking the missions at various modes, different altitudes and at differing Mach numbers,"the official said.
Team Tejas will have to complete their missions at the allotted slots and hence the role of time-keepers and planners become critical. "The range has heavy traffic owing to other trials by various agencies. It is a huge challenge to perform these missions at clock-like precision," the official said.
Sources confirm that one mobile telemetry has been already positioned at Jaisalmer, while another is at the Ozar Air Base in Nasik. Back-up equipment, additional ground crew and support platforms (LSP-3, LSP-4) are also put on a stand-by.
That's all for now. More soon...