Bengaluru, March 19: Missile scientists probably decided to ‘celebrate' India's stupendous win over Bangaldesh in ICC Cricket World Cup by test-firing Astra missile again on Thursday.
Ministry of Defence officially confirmed that Astra, a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, was test-fired by the Indian Air Force (IAF) off the coast of Odisha, near the Integrated Test Range, Balasore, today.
This was Astra back-to-back successful firing trials in two days with the missile successfully test-fired on March 18 as well.
The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
During Thursday's test flight, the Astra missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead was fired from a Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft against a Lakshya (Pilotless Target Aircraft) target.
"The target was successfully engaged and it was captured by telemetry and electro-optical tracking stations," an MoD spokesperson said.
Missiles launched from Sukhoi
During Wednesday's trials, the missile was also launched from a Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft, which was aimed at confirming missile's capability to undergo manoeuvre involving very high gravitational forces up to the order of 30 ‘g'.
Officials said that the 4th and 5th launch campaigns of Astra were coordinated by IAF HQ.
Astra comes from DRDO's Missile Complex in Hyderabad with the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) responsible for its design and development. The project had its share of delays owing to technological challenges, which the DRDO now claims that they have overcome.
Dr V G Sekaran, Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems), DRDO said that the Astra is a complex system which can be comparable to the best in the business.
"The back to back launches of Astra were perfect in all respect and it engaged the target with precision. More tests will follow to prove its repeatability. The missile has proved its capability as a formidable weapon," says Dr S Venugopal, Project Director, Astra.