|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Astra Air Combat Missile Will Be Tested With Tejas Fighter Soon | India News


NEW DELHI: India’s first indigenous Astra air-to-air missile will soon be tested with the first local Texas fighter, in another important step towards making the weapon the mainstay of the country’s combat fleet against hostile aircraft for years to come.
Integration of the Astra beyond the visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), which flies at more than four times the speed of sound at Mach 4.5, at Tejas and “initial ground tests” are now nearly complete. “Flight tests of the indigenous missile on the indigenous fighter will begin in the coming months,” a source said Thursday.
The all-weather, day and night Astra, which currently has an attack range of around 100 km, will eventually replace the expensive Russian, French, and Israeli BVRAAMs that are currently imported to arm Fighter jets. the IAF.
DRDO also plans to start testing the Mark-2 version of Astra, with a range of 160 km, in the first half of next year. At the same time, plans are underway for a 350km-range Astra Mark-3, the sources said.
With the sleek Astra Mark-1 already “proven” on Russian-sourced Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, the Defense Procurement Council led by Rajnath Singh granted “acceptance of need” for an initial order for 288 missiles in July.
“Once the flight tests are completed in Texas, large-scale orders will follow,” said a source. Defense PSU Bharat Dynamics is scheduled to produce the missiles in bulk at a unit cost of approximately Rs 7.5 crore.
This comes at a time when the order for more than Rs 37 billion for 83 Tejas Mark-1A fighter jets from defense PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is also about to be approved, in what will be the largest deal ever. history in indigenous military aviation. sector.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said last month that the 83-Tejas deal will be signed before the ongoing prosecution ends on March 31. The IAF is receiving deliveries, albeit slowly, of the first 40 Texas Mark-1 aircraft under two contracts worth Rs 8,802 crore inked earlier.
India may have developed ICBMs like the nuclear-capable Agni-V, which can hit targets more than 5,000 km away, but the technical struggle to develop Astra has taken 16 long years.
But India has finally joined the ranks of the United States, Russia, France and Israel in developing such complex BVRAAMs capable of detecting, tracking and destroying highly agile hostile supersonic fighters packed with “countermeasures” at long ranges.
DRDO says Astra has “excellent” ECCM (electronic counter-countermeasures) to deal with interference from hostile aircraft, active radar terminal guidance, and other features for “high probability of single shot kill” in modes ” front and back chase “. The IAF has given it a thumbs up too!

Times of India