Astra air-to-air missile successfully tested from Su-30

Astra air-to-air missile successfully tested from Su-30

India's indigenous Astra missile was Friday successfully tested from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft, an official statement said Friday.

The Astra BVR (beyond visual range) missile, India's first home made air-to-air missile, was tested from a naval range off Goa Friday, at over six km altitude.

"It was a control and guidance flight which successfully demonstrated interception of an electronically simulated target at long range," the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) statement said. 

A test was conducted on June 9 to demonstrate the aerodynamic characteristics of the missile.

"Both tests have demonstrated the repeatability, robustness and endurance capability of Astra as a weapon system," a DRDO spokesperson said.

Congratulating the team, DRDO chief Avinash Chander attributed the continuing success of the development trials to the joint efforts by the DRDO and Indian Air Force working together as team.

He especially congratulated the IAF test team from ASTE for carrying out the trials inspite of the heavy monsoons in the west coast region.

V.G. Sekaran, director general, Missiles and Strategic Systems of DRDO, said: "The continuous success of Astra development trials is a confirmation of the maturity of DRDO in air-to-air missile design and implementation."

Project director S. Venugopal added that air-launch trials were going on as scheduled and will meet all performance requirements of the IAF.

The Astra is a single-stage solid-propellant missile that is 3.57 m long and 178 mm in diameter, with a 154-kg launch weight and a 15 kg conventional explosive payload.It has active radar terminal guidance, electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM), and smokeless propulsion.

The missile has been designed to be capable of engaging high-speed targets at short range (up to 20 km in tail chase mode) and long range (up to 80 km in head-on chase mode).

At sea level it has a range of up to 20 km but could have a range of 44 km from an altitude of 8,000 m and 80 km if launched from an altitude of 15,000 m.