15-Year Development Process Concludes

15-Year Development Process Concludes November 11, 2019

India’s first indigenous beyond visual range air-to-air missile Astra is now finally ready for duty after 15  years of development. Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India expecting the Indian Air Force to initially order at least 200 missiles for its Sukhoi-30MKI jets. DRDO is trying to increase the current range of the missile from 110 kilometers to 160 kilometers. With a weight of 154 kg and a length of 3.57 meters, the Astra flies more than four times the sound speed of the Mach 4.5. Against the expensive counterparts imported for the Indian Air Force, the missile will be produced for about $ 1 million per unit. Astra, which will also be used in India's native Tejas planes, can successfully execute multi-target scenarios. The DRDO is all gung-ho after it conducted five successful trials of the Astra from Sukhoi fighters against Jet Banshee target aircraft or UAVs, simulating all possible threat scenarios, off the Chandipur coast in Odisha. “The targets were hit at distances of 80 to 86-km with pinpoint accuracy. The technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for developing future variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles,” said an official.

Issue 79