India’s Air to Air missile, ASTRA has been successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha. Astra is India’s indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile. It is an all-weather, state-of-the-art missile developed by DRDO. Astra is 3.8 meter long and it can engage and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed. It is the smallest of the DRDO-developed missiles and can be launched from different altitudes.
The last trial of Astra was conducted from a naval range on May 4, 2014, and it was also successful. It’s expected that Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft and Mirage-2000 fighters of the Indian Air Force will be armed with Astra missiles.
Knowledge is Wealth
- Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes.
- The missile’s maximum speed is Mach 4 and can attain maximum altitude of 20 km.
- Astra uses a smokeless propulsion system.
- The DRDO was formed in 1958 and it is responsible for the development of technology for use by the military.
- DRDO is directly under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.