IAF lines up series of sleek ‘Astra’ trials from Monday

IAF lines up series of sleek ‘Astra’ trials from Monday


Indian Air Force (IAF) is slated to carry
out a series of captive trials of indigenously developed beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air
missile ‘Astra’ from a fighter aircraft from Monday.
Defence sources said the missile will be fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft targeting a Pilotless
Target Aircraft (PTA) at different altitudes from different angles over the Bay of Bengal
to reconfirm the killing efficiency of the all-terrain and all-weather weapon system. The anti-aircraft missile, considered one
of the best of its kind in the world, will be tested for three days. Altogether, three
rounds of the missile have reportedly been planned to be test-fired. The focus is on to achieve success during
all the three trials this time as a coordinated air exercise on Wednesday reportedly ended
in failure as the missile nose-dived after it was fired from the aircraft and exploded
on the sea beach causing enormous noise. The missile was first tested from the aircraft
at a naval range in the western sector on May 4, 2014. ‘Astra,’ which possesses
high single shot kill probability making it highly reliable, is the first homegrown missile
to be fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI. “The captive trials are aimed at establishing
the compatibility of the missile’s electronics with the Su-30MKI avionics. Apart from Sukhoi,
the missile can be integrated with Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft
(LCA),” a defence official said. The single stage, solid fuelled ‘Astra’
missile is more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR missiles and is capable
of engaging and destroying highly manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets. The 3.8-metre long missile, which has a diameter
of 178 mm, can carry about 15 kg of high-explosive warhead, activated by a proximity fuse and
be fitted to any fighter aircraft. ‘Astra’ is a futuristic missile and can intercept
the target at super-sonic speed of Mach 1.2 to 1.4. The sleek missile, capable of ducking
radar eyes, is the smallest of the missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO). After its induction, the missile will be one of the best of its
kind in the world in 100 km range. Source: http://defence.pk/threads/iaf-lines-up-series-of-sleek-%E2%80%98astra%E2%80%99-trials-from-monday.466063/#ixzz4SWBivwsL

Eugene Islam

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