Indigenously-developed beyond visual range air-to-air Astra missile was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha.
In the test, the missile was fired from Sukhoi -30 MKI fighter jet in two developmental trials to prove its long range capability.
In the first trial, the missile was released when the fighter jet was performing a very high-g manoeuvre and in the second trial it was fired when the manoeuvre was higher than in the first exercise.
These tests were the part of seven developmental trials of the missile. After few more tests, including pre-induction trials the missile is expected to be inducted by 2016.
Facts about Astra missile
- Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and one of the smallest weapon systems developed by it.
- Single stage solid fuelled and has payload capacity of 15 kg conventional explosives.
- It is air-to-air beyond-visual-range (BVR) all-weather missile that can be launched from different altitudes.
- Capable of engaging and destroying highly maneuverable supersonic aerial targets and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed of 1.2 Mach to 1.4 Mach.
- It should be noted that it is radar homing missile
- It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up to 20 km modes and can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km and 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
- The missile can be integrated with fighter aircraft including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).