New Delhi: India has successfully flight tested the Air-to-Air missile Astra on Tuesday off the coast of Odisha. Astra is an all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 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.
Astra is the first air-to-air missile developed by India. It features 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 and long-range targets up to a distance of 80 km. Astra has been integrated with Indian Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI and will be integrated with Dassault Mirage 2000 and Mikoyan MiG-29 in the future. Limited series production of Astra missiles began in 2017.
"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 target"-MoD
"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 target" said a statement issued by the ministry of defence.
The tested version of Astra reportedly weighs 154 kg, which is 3.57 m long and has 178 mm diameter. It is capable of carrying a high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead weighing 15 kg. Astra was revealed to the public for the first time at Aero India 1998 although the work on the ambitious project had started in 1990 only.