”Astra” missile test-fired for second consecutive day

September 14th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Chandipur (Orissa), Sept 13 (ANI): ”Astra”, the indigenously air-to-air anti-aircraft missile was successfully test fired for the second consecutive day on Sunday from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa.
The Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, capable of ducking radar eyes and attacking enemy targets up to 110 km, was test fired from launch pad number two of the ITR complex at about 11.47 a.m., according to reports.
Today’’s test was conducted after analyses of the data generated from Saturday’’s flight trial in order to further validate all major parameters.
Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists said, “”Astra” is a futuristic missile and will intercept the target at super-sonic speeds of mach 1.2 to 1.4.”
The sleek single stage, solid fuelled ”Astra” is more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR missiles and is capable of engaging and destroying highly manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets.
Some more trials would be conducted through tests on Astra’’s navigation, control, airframe, propulsion and other sub-systems before the highly sophisticated missile system is made fully operational.
Scientists are working to ensure that ”Astra” performed effectively at different altitudes - one cruising at an altitude of 15 km with 90 to 110 km range, another at an altitude up to 30,000 ft, having a range of 44 km and the third at sea level altitude with a range of 30 km, as reported.
The prototype of the missile was first tested in May 2003 from the integrated test range at Chandipur.
In March 2007, ”Astra” had undergone two experimental flight tests from the ITR launch complex at Chandipur to study the ballistic performance and control of the missile at a low altitude and shorter range.
Initially planned to arm Jaguar, Mig-29 and the indigenous light combat air-craft ”Tejas”, DRDO officials are now concentrating on integrating the missile with Indian Air Force’’s front line fighter air-craft like Sukhoi-30 MKIs and Mirage-2000.
The ”Astra” missile project is being guided and led by Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) under the DRDO. (ANI)

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