New Delhi, September 17: The Defence Ministry has successfully completed the final development flight trials of 'Astra' Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). The 4-day trials were conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), first ground test of the missile was conducted in May 2003. While it was test fired in the night and in inclement weather in June 2010, first trial from a fighter aircraft was carried out in May 2014. The missile was fired against an actual target in 2012 when it destroyed a drone.
The technology used in Astra is more sophisticated than Agni, as it works on a terminal active radar-seeker and an updated mid-course internal guidance system that helps the missile in locating the target. The IAF is planning to integrate the missile with the Tejas light combat aircraft.DRDO is also developing a more powerful BVRAAM Astra Mk 2 with a range of 100 km.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and DRDO Chairman and Secretary of Department of Defence (R&D) Dr S Christopher have congratulated DRDO, IAF, Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) and industries for the successful trials of Astra missile, a formidable class of weapon system.