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 from September 11 to 14, 2017. A total of seven trials were conducted against pilotless target aircraft (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. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited 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 Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and industries for the successful trials of Astra missile. The 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. The 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.