Air-to-air missile Astra test-fired

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Bhubaneswar: India’s Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile Astra was successfully test fired today in Odisha, the defence ministry said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted the test off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test Range at Balasore.

In Thursday’s test flight, an Astra missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead was fired from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft against a Lakshya (pilotless target aircraft).

The target was successfully engaged and it was captured by telemetry and electro-optical tracking stations, a ministry statement said.

The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Another successful trial of Astra took place yesterday. It was launched from a Sukhoi 30. The trial was aimed at confirming the missile’s capability to undergo manoeuvre involving very high gravitational forces.

The Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, is the primary development agency for the missile.

DRDL director K. Jayaraman was present at the mission centre overseeing the trials along with programme director Subhash Chandran.

Project Director S. Venugopal said, “The fourth and fifth air launch of Astra was once again perfect in all respects, and engaged the target with precision.

“More tests will follow to prove its repeatability,” he added.

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