Astra missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI

Astra missile is seen separating from Su-30 aircraft in a trial. File photo

Astra missile is seen separating from Su-30 aircraft in a trial. File photo   | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGMENT

After postponing twice, the indigenously-developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Astra was successfully launched from Su-30 MKI fighter jet in two developmental trials conducted at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha on Wednesday.

In the first trial, the supersonic missile was released when the fighter jet was performing a “very high-g manoeuvre”.  In the second trial, the manoeuvre was higher than in the first exercise.

A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) missile technologist told The Hindu that extreme conditions were simulated for the missile’s launch in both the trials when it was released at very low and very high altitudes. DRDO scientists plan to conduct another trial on Thursday to prove the long range capability of the missile.

With Wednesday’s tests, seven developmental trials were conducted and the missile is expected to be inducted by 2016 after few more tests, including pre-induction trials.

Once inducted, India would join select group of nations which possess this kind of stat-of-the-art weapon, said the scientist. He said it is the first state-of-the-art air-to-air missile developed and validated by DRDO. “It is one of the most modern, stand-off beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM)”, he added.

The 3.8-metre tall Astra is a radar homing missile and one of the smallest weapon systems developed by DRDO.  

Various laboratories of the DRDO, including the missile complex at Hyderabad, CEMILAC and DGAQA collaborated with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Indian Air Force in developing Astra. 

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 8:17:57 AM |

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