India competes Astra missile development
India has completed development testing of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) with a recent series of seven firings.
The Indian Ministry of Defence has announced that the final development flight trials of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur, Odisha.
A total of seven firings were successfully conducted against Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) between 11th and 14th September.
The missions included target engagement at very long range, engagement of rapidly manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets. According to the MoD release, all sub-systems, including the indigenous RF seeker, performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead, and the targets were neutralized.
The development programme was led by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), together with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) modified the IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft for weapon integration.
DRDO describes Astra as an all-aspect, all-weather missile with active radar terminal guidance, excellent electronic counter-countermeaseure (ECCM) features, smokeless propulsion and process-improved effectiveness in a multi‐target scenario.