Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducts successful trails of “Astra,” which is a Beyond Visual Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) from the fourth generation multirole fighter, Sukhoi Su-30MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha. The trails were conducted from 16th to 19th September 2019. The trials were conducted against Banshee target aircraft by Indian Air Force (IAF) simulating all probable threats. The missiles were fired in five configurations. During the test, three missiles were fired in combat configuration with warhead
and manoeuvring targets were neutralized to establish the end game capability of the missile. The trial also comprised of a direct hit of the target by the missile at maximum range. The mission was a success as all the subsystems performed precisely and met all the mission parameters and objectives.
The range of Astra BVRAAM is 100 kilometres and is equipped with all the modern navigation and guidance techniques. The missile also has midcourse guidance and RF seeker based guidance which enables it to reach the target with pinpoint accuracy. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) played an important role to modify the aircraft for installation of weapons. Over 50 public and private industries have contributed to the development of Astra weapon system.
The successful trial of the weapon system will enhance the country’s capabilities in eliminating aerial threats considering the accuracy and effectiveness of it. With the completion of the trial, Astra is ready to be inducted into the missile system of Indian Air Force. Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO congratulated team ‘Astra’ for developing and flight testing such a daunting weapon system. Defence Minister applauded DRDO and IAF for the successful trails.