Who: Air-to-Air Missile Astra
Where: ITR, Balasore
What: Successfully test-fired by the IAF
When: 25 December 2015
Why: To validate anti-jamming capabilities
Indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Astra, was on 25 December 2015 successfully test fired. The test was conducted by the Indian Air Force off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore.
In addition to this air trial, the missile underwent successful ground based trials in early December 2015 near Pune.
The tests were aimed at validating the ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming.
After carrying out some more trials, including air launch trial with a warhead, the missile is expected to be inducted into the Air Force in 2016.
Features of Astra missile
• Astra is India’s first beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging its target at ranges of 37 km or beyond. It has operational range of 60km.
• The all-weather missile has been indigeniously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
• It is a state-of-the-art missile in the sense that it travels at supersonic speed (4780 km/h), possesses Single Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) with active radar terminal guidance, uses smokeless propulsion system to evade enemy radars and has the capacity to engage in multi-target scenario.
• The 3.8 metre long missile is the smallest of the DRDO-developed missiles and can be launched from different altitudes.
• It can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of eight km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
• Apart from integrating the missile with Su-30, the missile will be mounted on other fighter aircrafts including Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft), Mirage-2000 and MIG-29.