Astra successfully test fired for second day
Balasore (Orissa): For the second day in
a row, India conducted a successful ballistic flight test of
indigenously developed Astra - Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air
Missile - from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on Saturday.
"The missile was test-fired around 10:32 hrs and the
trial was successful," Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) sources said.
The missile is envisaged to intercept and destroy
enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a
range of 80 km and in tail-chase mode at 20 km.
"Before the sophisticated anti air-craft missile would
be integrated with fighter aircraft like Su-30 MKI, MiG-29 and
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, it would undergo some rigorous
and flawless tests both from ground and fighter jets," said a
scientist associated with the project.
Astra, which uses solid propellant, can carry a
conventional warhead of 15 kg. It is the smallest of the
missiles developed by the DRDO in terms of size and weight.
It is 3.8-metre long and has a diameter of 178 mm with
an overall launch weight of 160 kg. The missile could be
launched from different altitudes it can cover 110 km when
launched from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when fired from an
altitude of eight km and 21 km when the altitude is sea-level.
DRDO officials said it was more advanced than the
similar class of missiles of the US, Russia and France.
The missile’s captive flight tests from Su-30MKI were
carried out near Pune in November 2009 when seven sorties were
Astra’s first flight trial took place on May 9, 2003
from the ITR at Chandipur.
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