Astra missile test-fired on second consecutive day
Balasore (Odisha): A day after a perfect developmental trial of "Astra", India on Saturday again successfully test-fired its indigenously developed beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, 15 km from here.
The sophisticated missile was test-fired from a launcher in launch pad-2 of the ITR at about 3.34 PM targeting a flying object being supported by a pilotless target air-craft 'Lakshya', defence sources said.
"The trial was successful. All mission objectives and parameters were met," ITR Director MVKV Prasad said.
Today's successful test-fire was significant as it came a day after a similar trial conducted from the same base yesterday, a defence scientist said.
The single stage, solid fuelled 'Astra' missile is more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR missiles and is capable of engaging and destroying highly manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets.
The 3.8 metre long missile, having a diameter of 178 mm with an overall launch weight of 160 kg, can carry a warhead containing conventional explosives weighing 15 kg. It can be fitted to any fighter aircraft.
It is intended to be eventually integrated with Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage-2000, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force, the sources said.
Describing 'Astra' as a futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon could intercept the target at supersonic speed.
"Before being made fully operational, the complex missile system will undergo some more trials, though tests of its navigation, control, air frame, propulsion and other sub-system have been validated," the sources said.
Scientists of the DRDO are working to ensure that 'Astra' missile performs effectively at different altitudes - one 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 while the third at sea level with a range of 21 km, the sources added.