Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully test fired indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra from Su-30 figher aircraft. The missile was tested at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, West Bengal. During the test, missile successfully engaged manoeuvring target with high precision meeting mission objectives.
The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials. In the series of trials held till date, Astra missile has been launched in complete Su-30 flight envelope. So far it has undergone more than 20 developmental trials.
Astra is air to air beyond visual range air-to-air indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (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).