Astra, India’s own developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVR-AAM), has successfully completed first series of flight trials. Astra missile is expected to be inducted into Indian Air Force next year.
According to a press release first series of flight trials was conducted by Indian Air Force during September 26 to October 3, 2018 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore in Odisha as part of final development trials of the missile.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO ), Indian Airforce , Hindustan Aeronautics limited (HAL) and associated industries for successful trials of Astra.
Astra’s trials were a combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, medium and long ranges. The missiles were telemetered for evaluation of online performance of all sub-systems especially the datalink, RF seeker and proximity fuse for end-game performance. Astra has been tested six times under different launch conditions and ranges as part of the final development trial. The missile has engaged targets and all the mission objectives have been met.
According to press release ,with IAF’s active participation, DRDO has developed the missile and integrated the weapon on Sukhoi (Su-30 ) fighter aircraft and other air platforms. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Nasik has been instrumental in the modification of a number of Su-30 aircrafts for Astra weapon integration and support during trials. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the evelopment and production of different sub-systems of the missile. The missile is expected to be inducted into IAF in 2019.