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India completes final Astra missile development trials
Astra BVRAAM. © DRDO

India completes final Astra missile development trials

The Indian MoD says the Indian Air Force has successfully completed final development flight trials of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) which is expected to enter service with the Indian AF in 2019.

The Indian MoD reports that the Indian Air Force has successfully completed final development flight trials of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). The trials were conducted over the period 26th September to 3rd October at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore.

The latest round of testing comes one year after the announcement that missile development had been completed in September 2017.

The trials were described as a combination of complex tests for engagement of unmanned targets in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, at medium and long ranges. The missiles were telemetered for evaluation of online performance of all sub-systems, especially the datalink, RF seeker and proximity fuse for end-game performance.

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..

The missile was tested six times under different launch conditions and ranges as part of the final development trial. All mission objectives were met.

DRDO, in cooperation with the Indian AF, developed the missile and integrated the weapon on the Su-30 and other air platforms. HAL, Nasik worked on the modification of a number of Su-30 aircrafts for Astra weapon integration and support during trials.

More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in development and production of the different subsystems of the missile, which is expected to be inducted into IAF in 2019.

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