Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully undertaken series of flight trials of Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-toAir Missile (BVR-AAM) from September 26 to October 3, 2018. The tests were conducted at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore, Odisha as part of final development trials of the missile.

About test

The missile was tested in combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, medium and long ranges. These trials were combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, medium and long ranges. These tests make missile ready for induction in service in 2019.

Astra Missile

Astra is air to air beyond visual range air-to-air indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in development and production of different subsystems of the missile.

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).

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.

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