Astra missile test successful

Astra missile test successful

India flexed its military muscles on Sunday on the western front where one of the Army’s strike corps showcased its battle-readiness and defence scientists successfully carried out the first flight-testing of the air-to-air, beyond visual range missile Astra.

“Astra was successfully test fired by the Indian Air Force on May 4 from a Naval range in the western sector meeting all the mission objectives,” a statement from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said. The mark-I missile, launched from a Su-30 fighter jet, has a range of more than 60 km, said DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta.

The mark-II version will have a longer range. India’s first BVR air-to-air missile has high single-shot kill probability, making it a reliable weapon. However, in its maiden flight test, the missile was not fired against any target, which would be tested subsequently.
Under development for almost ten years, Astra underwent a mid-course correction as its design was overhauled to make it sleeker with several additional parameters. “There were many ground launches and electronic missile release without the actual firing. Sunday's test over the sea was the first firing of the missile,” Gupta said.

Astra is an all-aspect, all-weather missile with active radar terminal guidance, excellent ECM (electronic counter-measure) features, smokeless propulsion and improved effectiveness in a multi-target scenario making it a highly advanced, state-of the-art missile.

The missile firing coincided with two days of war-games in Rajasthan desert by the Army's Mathura-based strike formation (1 Corps).

At the conclusion of the exercise ‘Sarvada Vijay’ (Always Victorious), underway in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, south western Army commander Lt Gen Arun Kumar Sahni was briefed by Corps commander Lt Gen Ravi Thodge on how networked radars, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerial surveillance platforms ensured continuous flow of information that aided commanders to assess and suitably modify the operational plans.

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