IAF successfully test-fires beyond visual range air-to-air missile 'Astra'

India toady conducted another successful test-firing of the indigenously designed and developed beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile `Astra'. The Indian Air Force conducted the test-firing near the Integrated Test Range at Balasore off the coast of Odisha.


The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

In today's test flight an `Astra' missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead was fired from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft against a Lakshya (pilotless target aircraft) target. The target was successfully engaged and it was captured by telemetry and electro-optical tracking stations.

A successful trial of Astra, conducted yesterday, was also launched from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft, which was aimed at confirming missile's capability to undergo manoeuvre involving very high gravitational forces up to the order of 30 'g'. These fourth and fifth launch campaign were coordinated by Air Headquarters, including the flight of Lakshya target, according to a defence ministry release.

Astra has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad of DRDO's missile complex.

''The fourth and fifth air launches of Astra were once again perfect in all respects and engaged the target with precision. More tests will follow to prove its repeatability,'' project director S Venugopal said, adding that Astra has proved its capability as a formidable weapon.