India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed all-weather air-to-air missile Astra off Odisha coast on Tuesday (September 17).
The state-of-the-art missile was launched from a Sukhoi-30 MKI combat aircraft from the Bay of Bengal as part of user trials by the Indian Air Force (IAF), according to an official statement. “The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of our first indigenous air-to-air missile,” it said.
The missile was built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is the primary research and development organization for armed forces in India.
Noting that the mission profile was executed in a textbook manner, it said that various radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and sensors tracked the missile and confirmed its engagement with the target.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Air Force teams for the successful test, according to the statement.
Defence sources said that the Astra missile, which is beyond visual range, is capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitudes simultaneously. The missile can fly towards a specific target at a speed of over 5,555 kph, they added.
The missile has a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead, the sources said.
The Astra missile has a strike range of over 70 kms. Encouraged by its success, the DRDO is reportedly planning to develop a missile with a 300-km strike range.
(With inputs from agencies)