The Astra BVR Air-to-Air Missile was successfully tested by the LCA Tejas

With the successful test launch of the indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile Astra, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has reached yet another milestone.

Indigenous Marvel of Astra Missile

  • The Astra missile is an indigenous air-to-air missile developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy will use the missile.

Capability and Purpose

  • In air combat settings, Astra is designed to engage and eliminate high-speed, nimble aerial targets.
  • It has superior air combat capabilities and is capable of engaging numerous high-performance targets at the same time.

Integration of Aircraft

  • The Su-30MKI fighter jet, Mirage 2000 multi-role combat fighters, Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), MiG-29 and MiG-21 Bison fighter planes, and the Indian Navy’s Sea Harrier jet fighter are all integrated with Astra.

Features and Specifications

(A) Design:

  • The missile is built for speed, precision, and dependability, with a high single-shot kill probability (SSKP).
  • Astra is roughly 3.8 metres long with a diameter of 178mm.
  • Its launch weight is approximately 160 kilogrammes.

(B) Advanced Variants:

  • The DRDO is working on an improved model known as Astra Mk-II.
  • The Astra Mk-II is predicted to have a range of 160 km.

(C) Guidance and Warhead:

  • For precise target tracking, the missile employs dual-mode guidance.
  • It has a high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead for effective engagement with threats.

(D) Propulsion and Performance:

  • The Astra missile is propelled by a single-stage, smokeless solid fuel propulsion system.
  • It can reach launch speeds ranging from Mach 0.4 to Mach 2.

(E) Launch Range and Agility:

  • The missile has a range of about 80 km.
  • It can engage moving targets while performing manoeuvres with up to 40 g turns around sea level.

Collaboration for Growth

  • Astra Mk-III, a missile derivative, is being developed in partnership with Russia.
  • The sophisticated solid fuel ducted ramjet (SFDR) engine technology is used in this model.
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