Indian Airforce Current Affairs

Mission Seven Summits: Indian Air Force Conquers Seven Summits

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has scaled seven highest peaks in every continent as part of its mountaineering expedition Mission Seven Summits. With this it became first organisation in India to achieve this unique feat.

The feat was achieved after team comprising five IAF mountaineers, led by Gp Capt RC Tripathi successfully scaled Mount Vinson in Antarctica, thus completing the assigned Mission. Mt Vinson is located 1200 km from the South Pole. It is the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 metres and one of the renowned “Seven Summits.” It is 21 km long and 13 km wide and lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains.


After scaling of Mt Everest in 2005, IAF launched unique and unprecedented series of mountaineering expedition ‘Mission Seven Summits’. The mission aimed to fly tricolour and IAF flag on the highest peaks in every continent.

IAF always has promoted adventure activities among its personnel. In 2011, IAF’s women expedition had scaled Mt Everest successfully and in 2017 joint IAF-BSF women camel expedition covered 1386 Km distance along western border in 47 days. IAF is also committed to the cause of environment and in September 2017, IAF expedition to Mt Stok Kangri (Himalayas in Ladakh region of north-west India), restored the environment at base camp.


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).