Astra set to replace BVRAAMs, to be tested from Tejas
New Delhi, Nov 23: The first indigenous air-to-air missile Astra will be soon tested from the home grown fighter Tejas.
The all-weather day and night capable Astra has a strike range of around 100 kilometres. It would eventually replace the Russian, French and Israeli BVRAAMs which are currently imported to arm the Indian Air Force fighters. Sources tell OneIndia that the DRDO would begin testing the Mark-2 version of the Astra with a range of 160 kilometres next year.
India in September successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed air-to-air missile Astra that was fired from a fighter aircraft.
The state-of-the-art missile was launched from Sukhoi-30 MKI off the coast of Odisha as part of user trials by the Indian Air Force(IAF), said the statement released by the Defence Ministry.
Designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the beyond visual range Astra missile is capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitude, defence sources said.
The sophisticated missile has a strike range of over 70 km, they said.
It has a 15-kg high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead, the sources added.
"The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile," a statement said.
Noting that the mission profile was executed in a textbook manner, it said various radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and sensors tracked the missile and confirmed its engagement with target.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO and IAF teams for the successful test, the statement said.