In­dia’s As­tra BVRAAM test-fired from IAF flanker


In­dia’s first in­dige­nously de­vel­oped be­yond vis­ual range (BVR) air-to-air mis­sile As­tra was suc­cess­fully test-fired by the In­dian Air Force (IAF) on May 4, 2014, from a naval range in the western sec­tor meet­ing all the mis­sion ob­jec­tives. The air-launch was cap­tured by side and for­ward look­ing high speed cam­eras and the sep­a­ra­tion was ex­actly as per the sim­u­la­tion. As­tra is In­dia’s first BVR air-to-air mis­sile in­dige­nously de­signed and de­vel­oped by the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), pos­sess­ing high sin­gle shot kill prob­a­bil­ity (SSKP) mak­ing it highly re­li­able. As­tra is an all-as­pect, all-weather mis­sile with ac­tive radar ter­mi­nal guid­ance, ex­cel­lent ECCM fea­tures, smoke­less propul­sion and process im­proved ef­fec­tive­ness in multi-tar­get sce­nario mak­ing it a highly ad­vanced, state-of the-art mis­sile.

The Sci­en­tific Ad­vi­sor to De­fence Min­is­ter, Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of De­fence R&D and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, DRDO, Av­inash Chan­der con­grat­u­lat­ing the team for their high com­pe­tence and tenac­ity to make such an event hap­pen seam­lessly said: “As­tra’s suc­cess­ful launch from the Su30MKI com­bat air­craft is a ma­jor step in mis­sile air­craft in­te­gra­tion. Ex­ten­sive flight test­ing that has pre­ceded this air launch was in­deed a joint ef­fort of DRDO and IAF. This will be fol­lowed by launch against ac­tual tar­get shortly. Many more tri­als are planned and will be con­ducted to clear the launch en­ve­lope. Weapon in­te­gra­tion with Te­jas light com­bat air­craft will also be done in the near fu­ture.”

Dr V.G. Sekaran, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (MSS), who chaired the Flight Readi­ness Re­view Com­mit­tee along with S. Som, Di­rec­tor, DRDL, P. Venu­gopalan, for­mer Di­rec­tor, DRDL, among oth­ers, said: “This is one of the proud mo­ments for DRDO and the en­tire coun­try.” Dr K. Tamil­mani, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (Aero­nau­tics) who has over­looked the en­tire flight safety in the pro­gramme said that qual­ity of in­te­gra­tion and per­for­mance is of high stan­dards and there was no doubt in the suc­cess of the launch. He fur­ther added that this is the be­gin­ning of the phase for demon­stra­tion of launch over a wide air-launch en­ve­lope. The Project Di­rec­tor Dr S. Venu­gopal said that “the air launch of As­tra was per­fect in all re­spects and is a cul­mi­na­tion of years of ef­fort by a very ded­i­cated and com­pe­tent team of the Mis­sile Com­plex, Hy­der­abad, CEMILAC and IAF.”

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