Astra missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI in Odisha

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).

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates 50th anniversary of India’s first historic climb of Mt. Everest in 1965

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 50th Anniversary of India’s first historic climb of Mt. Everest in 1965 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

This function was organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to celebrate the historic climb of Mt. Everest in 1965 by an Indian team led by Captain Mohan Singh Kohli.

On this day in 1965, Indian team of 21 mountaineers led by Captain M S Kohli of Indian Navy had successfully climbed world’s highest peak Mt. Everest (8848 m) after a series of three unsuccessful attempts in five years.

The function was attended by nine surviving members of the 1965 expedition including Capt MS Kohli, Maj. H.P.S. Ahluwalia, Col Narinder Kumar, Sonam Wangyal, C P Vohra, G S Bhangu, Brigadier Mulk Raj, Dr Lala Telang and   Gurdial Singh.

It should be noted that during 1965 expedition Nawang Gombu, the Sherpa who was the member of the team at that time had created record by climbing to the summit twice. For first time he had climbed to the peak in 1963 with an American expedition team.