'Astra', BVRAAM test fired successfully

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Chandipur (Orissa), Sep 13: India on Saturday, Sep 13 successfully test fired the 'Astra', which is an active radar homing Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air Missile (BVRAAM), from the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa.

The 'Astra' missile was test-fired from a launcher in the launch pad number 2 of the ITR complex at about 12:05 pm, defence sources said.

"Before being made fully operational, the complex missile system would undergo some more trials, though test on its navigation, control, air frame, propulsion and other sub-system have been validated," said a source from the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR.

A so-called Beyond Visual Range missile is being developed by DRDO. This is the first air-to-air missile developed by India. If developed successfully, India would join a group of countries that are US, France, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Africa and China.

The range of Astra is 80 km in head-on chase and 15 km in tail chase. The missile's onboard radio-frequency seeker has been designed in India. It will have an active homing range of 15 km.

The missile has a pre-fragmented warhead and is fitted with a proximity fuze. A radar fuze already exists for the Astra, but the DRDO is currently working on a new laser fuze.


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