India successfully test-fired its first indigenously-developed air-to-air missile Astra from a Su-30 combat aircraft over a firing range in the western sector.
“The indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile ‘ASTRA’ was successfully test fired by the Air Force from a naval range in the western sector meeting all the mission objectives,” a DRDO release said.
Astra is India’s first BVR air-to-air missile indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and is an all-weather weapon system.
Congratulating the team of scientists involved in the test-firing, DRDO chief Avinash Chander said the missile would be soon tested against an actual target and is planned to be equipped on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’.
“Astra’s successful launch from the Su-30 combat aircraft is a major step in missile aircraft integration. Extensive flight testing that has preceded today’s air launch was indeed a joint effort of DRDO and IAF. Many more trials are planned and will be conducted to clear the launch envelope,” he said.
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The Su-30MKI aircraft of the IAF was modified by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited along with IAF specialists.
“The missiles have undergone rigorous testing on Su-30 in the captive mode for avionics integration and seeker evaluation in 2013. The project has thus reached the final stage of testing and evaluation, and the Mark-II variant with higher range capability is also planned to be tested by the end of 2014,” DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta said.