Astra Missile

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The Minister of State for Defence recently flagged off the indigenously developed Astra Missiles for supply to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Bharat Dynamics in Hyderabad.

About Astra Missile

  • Astra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile designed to be mounted on fighter aircraft. 
  • It is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The missile is designed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft.
  • It is the best in its class of weapon systems in the world in the category of air-to-air missiles.
  • The missile is being developed in multiple variants to meet specific requirements.
  • The ASTRA Mk-I Weapon System, integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft, is being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Features of ASTRA Mk-I:
    • It has a range of 80 to 110 km in a head-on chase and can travel at 4.5 Mach speed (almost hypersonic).
    • The missile also has a locally developed Ku-band active radar guidance system and a 15-kg warhead.
    • It offers the pilot the option to choose between “Lock on Before Launch – LOBL” and “Lock on After Launch – LOAL” and later allows the aircraft to shoot and scoot to safety after firing the missile in the direction of the target.
    • It is based on advanced solid-fuel ducted ramjet (SFDR) engine technology.
    • It is capable of operating under all weather conditions, both day and night, and offers high overall reliability and a very high ”Single Shot Kill Probability – SSKP”. 

Q1) What is the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)?

DRDO is the R&D wing of Ministry of Defence, Govt of India, with a vision to empower India with cutting-edge defence technologies and a mission to achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies and systems, while equipping our armed forces with state-of-the-art weapon systems and equipment in accordance with requirements laid down by the three services.

Source: Made-in-Hyderabad BVR Astra Missiles to boost IAF arsenal