Balasore (Orissa): Achieving a new
milestone, India today successfully test-fired two
indigenously developed air-to-air missiles `Astra` in quick
succession from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in
The beyond visual range (BVR) missiles were test-fired
from a ground launcher in the launch pad No. 2 of the ITR
complex at about 9.45 am and 12.06 pm, defence sources said.
Describing both the trials as "successful", they
said the data of the flight test was being thoroughly
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
scientists said Astra was a futuristic missile and it could
intercept targets at supersonic speeds between mach 1.2 to 1.4
(mach one is equivalent to 1236 kmph.)
"The tests on the missile`s navigation, control, air
frame, propulsion and other sub-system have been validated,"
The complex missile system would undergo some more
trials before being made fully operational, they said.
The single stage, solid fuel `Astra` missile "is
more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR
missiles and it is capable of engaging and destroying highly
manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets," defence sources said.
Though the exact range of today`s trial was not
disclosed, scientists are working to ensure that `Astra`
performs effectively at different altitudes - one, cruising at
an altitude of 15 km with 90 to 110 km range, another at an
altitude up to 30,000 ft having a range of 44 km and the
third, at sea level with a range of 30 km.
Astra had earlier been test-fired from the ITR at the
ground level several times, the sources added.