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Successful Development Trials of Astra Missile

Published on September 16, 2017
The final Development Flight Trials of Astra  Missile- Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, Off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha.

Successful Development Trials of Astra Missile


  • The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high maneuvering 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.
  • The BVRAAM was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in cooperation with the IAF. 
  • The trial run of BVRAAM not only highlighted the accurate performance of the missile launcher, but also the sub-systems functioned with perfection
  • The final stage of trials included test-fire of multiple engagement targets, including at “very long range” and medium range.

Specification of Astra Missile

  • The Astra is an active radar homing beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India. 
  • Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80–110 km) using alternative propulsion modes.
  • Astra uses a smokeless propulsion system.
  •  The performance characteristics of the missile are similar to the R-77RVV-AE (AA-12) and Super 530D, both currently used by the IAF. 
  • It is 3.8 metres long and is narrower in front of the wings. 
  • The propellant used is HTPB (solid-fuel)
  • The warhead is a 15 kg HE (high-explosive) which is activated by a proximity fuse. 
  • The missile's maximum speed is Mach 4.5+[10] and can attain maximum altitude of 20 km. 
  • The missile can handle 40 g turns near sea level while attacking a manoeuvring target.
  •  Astra has ECCM features and has improved effectiveness in multi-target scenarios. 
  • It can be launched in both autonomous and buddy mode operation and can achieve lock-on on its target before or after it is launched

What is BVRAAM?

  • A beyond-visual-range missile (BVR) is an air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging at ranges of 20 nmi (37 km) or beyond. This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor.
  •  The Sparrow 1 mounted on the US Navy's Skyknight became the first operational BVR missile in 1954.

Defence Research and Development Organisation 

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Republic of India, charged with the military's research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India. 
  • It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. 
  • It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • Dr.S.Christopher is the current Secretary of the organisation.

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