DRDO conducts five successful trials of Air-to-Air Missile Astra

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Context: DRDO conducts five trials of Air-to-Air Missile ‘Astra’; All successful

Relevance: GS 3 Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. 

Ministry: Ministry of Defence

What is Astra Missile?

  • The Astra missile is developed as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) of the Indian Ministry of Defence. DRDO carried out mission analysis, system design, simulation and post-flight analysis of the weapon system.
  • Astra (Sanskrit: weapon) is an all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, India.
  • It 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 (12 mi) and long-range targets up to a distance of 80 km (50 mi).
  • 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.

About the trials

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) ‘Astra’ from Su-30 MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha.
  • The five trials conducted during this period tested missiles in different configurations. During the campaign, three missiles were launched in combat configuration with warhead and manoeuvring targets were neutralized to establish the end game capability of the missile. The trial campaign also included a direct hit of the target by the telemetered missile at maximum range. All the subsystems performed accurately meeting all the mission parameters and objectives.
  • Astra BVRAAM has a range of more than 100 km with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile has midcourse guidance and RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pinpoint accuracy.
  • The five successful trials of Astra will culminate into the induction of the missile system into Indian Air Force, which will certainly be a force multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness in neutralizing aerial threats.



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