Astra missile Current Affairs

IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully conducted developmental trials of indigenously developed Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha.

Total of seven trials of Astra BVRAAM were conducted in various missions and two of them were against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft. They were final development flight trials of the missile, paving way for its early induction into IAF.

Astra Missile

Astra is air to air beyond visual range air-to-air indigenously developed by DRDO. It is one of the smallest weapon system developed by DRDO, having length of 3.8-metre and weighing 154kg. It is single stage solid fuelled missile and has payload capacity of 15 kg conventional explosives.

It can be launched from different altitudes and is capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes at both short-range targets (up to 20 km) in tail-chase mode and long-range targets (up to 80 km) in head-on mode. It is radar homing supersonic missile having maximum speed of Mach 4 (four times speed of sound).

It possesses high Single Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) making it highly reliable. It is all-weather missile with active radar terminal guidance, excellent electronic counter-counter measure (ECCM) features, smokeless propulsion and process improved effectiveness in multi-target scenario.

It has advance on-board electronic counter-measures that jam radar signals from enemy radar, making tracking of the missile difficult. It is fitted with terminal active radar-seeker and an updated mid-course internal guidance system that helps missile to locate and track targets.

The missile can be integrated with all fighter aircraft of IAF including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

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Anti-jamming capability of Astra missile successfully tested

Scientist from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently have successfully tested crucial anti-jamming capability of the Astra missile.

During the trials missiles ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features to overcome any jamming was successfully evaluated. This test was conducted after the missile’s RF seeker and other electronic components were sought to be jammed in the earlier trials.

With some more trials to be carried in future including air launch trial with a warhead, the missile will be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2015.

About Astra missile

  • Astra missile is indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is one of the smallest weapon systems developed by it.
  • It is radar homing missile fuelled by single stage solid fuel 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.
  • It possesses Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) with range of 60-km plus that makes it one of the most reliable in its class of weapon systems.
  • It is capable of engaging and destroying highly maneuverable supersonic aerial targets and can destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed of 1.2 Mach to 1.4 Mach.
  • It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up to 20 km modes. It can reach up to altitude of 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km.
  • DRDO and Indian Air Force is looking to integrate the missile with fighter aircraft including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

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