India’s state-owned defence research agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha.
The trails were held from 16th to 19th September and were conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF) against Jet Banshee target aircraft simulating all possible threat scenarios. 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, according to a Indian Ministry of Defence statement.
Astra BVRAAM has range of more than 100 kms with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile has midcourse guidance and an RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy.
The present flight trials have proved the end to end performance of the missile system in various combat scenarios. The five successful trials of Astra will culminate into 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.
Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary at Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO congratulated team ‘Astra’ for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system. The technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of future variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and IAF teams for the successful trials.