The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired the 'Astra' air-to-air missile with a range of over 70 km on Tuesday. The Astra Missile was test-fired 70 kilometres from an airbase in West Bengal. The Missile that carries a speed of over 5,555 kilometres per hour (4.5 Mach) with a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead. The missile was test-fired under the guidance of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The Defence Ministry also confirmed the development in a press release. “Air-to-Air missile, ASTRA, has been successfully flight-tested on Tuesday off the coast of Odisha. The missile was launched from Su-30 MKI as a part of user trials. The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile. The mission profile was executed in a textbook manner. Various Radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS), and Sensors tracked the missile and confirmed its engagement with the target. Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Air Force teams for the successful test," the press release stated.
The India Air Force also tweeted about the successful test and said that the Astra Missile will be integrated on Mirage-2000, MiG-29 & LCA Tejas aircraft. The Astra Missile has been designed and developed by the DRDO. While HAL developed the modifications needed in planes to carry Astra. More than 50 private and public sector industries have been involved in the development and production of the Astra missile.
The indigenously-developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra missile has been developed by DRDO and integrated on Su-30MKI. It will be integrated on Mirage-2000, MiG-29 & LCA Tejas aircraft.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 17, 2019
This comes just days after the DRDO and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) successfully made the naval variant of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the first Indian aircraft to achieve a successful "arrested landing" at an SBTF (shore-based test facility) in Goa. In October 2018, the IAF successfully test-fired the Astra missile several times over a period of a week to judge its capability in the engagement of the pilotless target. The Astra jets feature mid-course inertial guidance with terminal active radar homing. Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20 km (12 mi) and long-range targets up to a distance of 80 km.