Astra, the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), was successfully test fired by the Indian Air Force from Su-30 aircraft, from Air Force Station, Kalaikunda on Wednesday. The missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision meeting the mission objectives. In the series of trials held to date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope. The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials. Astra is the best in class weapon system and has undergone more than twenty developmental trials.
Astra is India’s first beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). According to the information available in the public domain, the missile is intended to engage and destroy aerial targets with high manoeuvrability and supersonic speeds. The missile’s advanced air combat capabilities allow it to engage multiple high-performance targets.
Defence minister Nirmala Sithraman lauded the efforts of Indian Air Force, DRDO and associated team members involved in the mission and said India has attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of advanced weapon systems.
This missile is planned to equip the IAF’s Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 multi-role combat fighters, and MiG-29. It will also be integrated with the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), which is being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The Astra missile is developed as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), DRDO carried out mission analysis, system design, simulation and post-flight analysis of the weapon system, according to reports.