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India successfully tests Astra, air to air missile

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New Delhi: The final Development Flight Trials of Astra – Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, Off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha during 11-14 Sep 2017. A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully.

The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets. All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead and the targets were neutralized.

This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), together with Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system. Dr S. Venugopal, Programme Director led the launch operations and flight trials along with the teams from multiple organisations.

The Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF Air Force, Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) and industries for the successful trials of ASRTA Missile. Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) Dr S. Christopher congratulated the ‘Team Astra” (DRDO, IAF, DPSU & Industries) for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system. Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, said the technologies developed under the programme will be the building blocks for development of more variants of Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air Missiles.

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