India successfully test fires Astra air-to-air missile
New Delhi: India today successfully test-fired its first indigenously-developed air-to-air missile Astra from a Su-30 combat aircraft over a firing range in the western sector.
"The indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile `ASTRA` was successfully test fired by the Air Force from a naval range in the western sector meeting all the mission objectives," a DRDO release said today.
Astra is India`s first BVR air-to-air missile indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and is an all-weather weapon system.
Congratulating the team of scientists involved in the test-firing, DRDO chief Avinash Chander said the missile would be soon tested against an actual target and is planned to be equipped on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft `Tejas`.
"Astra`s successful launch from the Su-30 combat aircraft is a major step in missile aircraft integration. Extensive flight testing that has preceded today`s air launch was indeed a joint effort of DRDO and IAF. Many more trials are planned and will be conducted to clear the launch envelope," he said.
The Su-30MKI aircraft of the IAF was modified by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited along with IAF specialists.
"The missiles have undergone rigorous testing on Su-30 in the captive mode for avionics integration and seeker evaluation in 2013. The project has thus reached the final stage of testing and evaluation, and the Mark-II variant with higher range capability is also planned to be tested by the end of 2014," DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta said.
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