Sunday, July 6, 2008

DRDO to undertake first full test flight of ASTRA - air to air beyond visual range missile

In a major technology leap, Indian defence scientists are ready to go ahead with the first full test flight of its indigenously developed air to air beyond visual range missile, ASTRA.

The test flight from an IAF Sukhoi fighter aircraft could be undertaken "anytime in the next 45 days", top DRDO officials said.

A successful test flight of ASTRA will plunge India into a select group of nations to have such a technology. Only US, France, Russia and China have so far produced such advance missiles, which enables fighter pilots to lock-on and shoot down enemy aircraft almost 90-120 km away.

Describing ASTRA as a futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon will intercept the target at mach 1.2 to 1.4 speed. The missile has already been tested on ground to prove its avionics, guidance and other sub-systems including propulsion.

Any success with air to air ASTRA missile will come as another milestone in defence research and cap recent strings of success the DRDO scientists have had in building at producing for the country -- short to medium range -- surface to surface missile system capable of delivering nuclear war heads at long

1 comment:

ANJAN SENGUPTA said...

Any luck on Astra trials? I remember Indian navy waiting for reentry of Agni missile, only they could not see any. The scientists created a hullaboo about its accuracy, its only that the navy did not get to see it at its projected re-entry point. Hopefully Brahmos and Israeli avionics would guide India better on Astra.