Lethal punch: India successfully testfires Astra missile five times in four days


Indian Air Force’s Astra Missile: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the beyond visual range air-to-air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. Five tests were conducted successfully in a span of four days, between September 16 to 19. All five trials were conducted by the user – Indian Air Force (IAF) – against Jet Banshee target aircraft that simulated all possible threat scenarios that IAF might encounter in a dog-fight.

Astra BVRAAM has range of more than 100 kms with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile has mid-course guidance and RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin-point accuracy.

These five trials were not identical, they were in different configurations.

Three missiles were launched in combat configuration with warhead and manoeuvring targets were neutralized to establish the end game capability of the missile.

While other two tests also included a direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at maximum range.

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All the subsystems performed accurately meeting all the mission parameters and objectives.

The effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by the DRDO, together with IAF has completed the user trial phase of the weapon system successfully.

India’s public sector aircraft manufacturer – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration.

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More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system.

The present flight trials have proved the end to end performance of the missile system in various combat scenarios giving greater confidence to users.

These five successful trials of Astra will culminate into induction of the missile system into Indian Air Force, which will certainly be a force multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness in neutralizing aerial threats, said the ministry of defence.

Technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of future variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles, said DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy.

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