HAL’s TEJAS strengthens its arsenal with the integration of Al-Tariq LR-PGMs, augmenting its precision weapon inventory for expanded operational capabilities
Another bomb has been added under TEJAS’s wings as UAE-based Edge Group completed feasibility studies for integrating the Al-Tariq Long-Range Precision-Guided Munitions (LR-PGMs) onto the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) TEJAS, revealed Edge group’s official statement on Tuesday November 14.
This collaboration stems from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked earlier this year between Al-Tariq, a joint venture between EDGE and Denel from South Africa, and HAL, an Indian public sector aerospace and defence company.
Objective And Scope of HAL-Edge Collaboration
The primary objective of this collaboration was to incorporate the Al-Tariq LR-PGM onto the HAL TEJAS LCA, expanding their repertoire to offer an advanced long-range precision weapon solution to the region. Interestingly, now with the weapon system integrated, both HAL and Edge will also be jointly involved in the marketing of LCA equipped with these weapons to the MENA countries.
Expressing pride in this strategic partnership, Theunis Botha, CEO of Al-Tariq, stated, “We are proud to be associated with HAL in this strategic campaign to offer high technology solutions to the TEJAS customers in the region. We look forward to presenting the range of Al-Tariq’s mission-proven long-range precision-guided munitions to HAL TEJAS customers around the globe.”
Al-Tariq, Tejas And Precision Guided Munitions
As per the available information, Al-Tariq LR-PGMs, known for their modular design, all-weather capability, and day/night functionality, are tailored to fit both the Mark 80 series and India’s indigenous High-Speed Low Drag (HSLD) series of aerial munitions. By incorporating a wing kit, the Al-Tariq-S (Standard Range) can transform into the Al-Tariq-LR (Long Range), amplifying the stand-off range from 45 km to an impressive 120km.
The HAL TEJAS, a single-engine, delta-wing light multirole combat aircraft, offers three production versions; the MK-1, MK-1A, and a trainer version. As a multirole platform, the TEJAS has a diverse portfolio of roles, encompassing ground attack, air support, and reconnaissance missions. Al Tariq is the 3rd precision-guided munition in the recent series of acquisitions to make TEJAS’s munition arsenal ‘razor-sharp’. Previous acquisitions include the French Armament Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM), or commonly known as Hammer, and Limited American Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits.
The anticipated timeline projects the full integration and certification of Al-Tariq’s LR-PGMs on HAL’s TEJAS to conclude by the third quarter of 2024.
The first display of TEJAS by Al-Tariq was during the Dubai Air Show 2023.The Indian Air Force contingent with the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS and the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv landed at Al Maktoum International Airport on November 6. For TEJAS, it’s the second appearance at the Air Show, and the TEJAS is part of both static and aerial displays, which it demonstrated on Monday, November 13, when it took flight in UAE skies.