Balasore: The indigenously developed Astra air-to-air beyond visual range (BVR) missile was test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here on Sunday. The test firing comes on the heels of Pakistan's testing an extended range Hatf VII Babar cruise missile last week Thursday.
The missile, with a range of 80 km, was fired from launch complex-II of the ITR on Sunday morning, defence sources said. Earlier, reports had suggested that about four rounds of test firing of the Astra could take place between March 26 and 27.
Astra is an advanced long-range missile with a solid propellant engine and advanced guidance equipment, capable of achieving speeds of around Mach 4. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad.
Plans to simultaneously test the Dhanush, a naval version of the indigenously developed Prithvi surface-to-surface missile, from a warship in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast were postponed, however, sources said.
According to reports, the missile was to be test fired from an Indian navy destroyer, INS Rajput, positioned in the Bay of Bengal, nearly 60 km from the ITR at Chandipur.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Dhanush reportedly has a range of 250-km and can carry a single warhead of up to 750 kg. According to reports, scientists have planned to test two variants of the Dhanush. While one version would have a strike range of 250 km, the other would have an extended range of 500 km.