India's First Indigenous Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air 'Astra Missile' Successfully Tested

| September 27 , 2018 , 10:08 IST

The Indian Air Force successfully test fired India's first indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) 'Astra' on Wednesday from an SU-30 aircraft from the Air Force Station, in Kalaikunda in Kharagpur district of West Bengal.

The Astra missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision, successfully meeting the mission objectives. Developed as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), the Astra missile is designed to engage and destroy aerial targets with high manoeuvrability and supersonic speeds. Its advanced air combat capabilities allow it to engage multiple high-performance targets.

Designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Astra is India's first indigenous first beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile. Considered to be the best in class weapon system, Astra has undergone more than 20 developmental trials with the DRDO carrying out mission analysis, system design, simulation and post-flight analysis of the weapon system. The recent flight test marks a part of the series of final pre-induction trials.

The Astra missile upon induction is planned to equip the Indian Air Force's Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 multi-role combat fighters, and MiG-29. It would also be integrated with the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Less than a week ago, on September 23, India successfully conducted its first night trial of its indigenously developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) from a defence facility off the Odisha coast. The test is considered to be a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. With the successful testing of the anti-ballistic missile system, India has become the 4th nation in the world to have a robust BMD system after US, Russia and Israel.