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Astra missile successfully test-fired

Bhubaneswar, Dec 21, 2012, DHNS: 0:21 IST
India on Friday test launched its indigenously developed beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air interceptor missile Astra at the interim test range(ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

Sources said, the sophisticated missile was fired from the launch pad number two of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) run missile testing centre at around 13.30 hours.

It destroyed its target - a small pilotless Lakshya aircraft - which was launched from the same base just minutes before the firing of the missile.

Astra which has the capability to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at a supersonic speed can be fitted into any fighter aircraft. Considered as one of the best of its kind in the world, the 3.8 metre long missile which weighs about 160 kg can carry explosive loaded conventional warheads up to 15 kg.

The missile had already been test-fired from the Chandipur facility several times in the past. Friday’s test was a “development trial” of the missile.

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