On September 17, 2019, The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully flight-tested air-to-air missile Astra from Su-30 MKI as a part of user trials from the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha. It is India’s first air-to-air missile which is engaged accurately with the live aerial target demonstrating its capability.
- Astra, an indigenously developed sophisticated Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) is capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitudes including long-range and short-range targets.
- It has a range of over 70 km and can fly towards its target at a speed of over 5,555 kilometres per hour.
- With highly advanced features like Electronic Counter- Counter Measures (ECCM), it has a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead.
- It was developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) with Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) as the lead laboratory and other 50 public and private organisations.
- Modifications of the Sukhoi-30 MKI jets to accommodate Astra missiles were done by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The missile test was tracked by different Radars, Sensors and Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS).
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