The Indian Air Force on Wednesday carried out a successful test firing of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM).
The missile, developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Limited, was fired from a frontline IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft from Air Force Station, Kalaikunda, in West Bengal.
Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision, meeting the mission objectives.
The MoD said that in the series of trials held to date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope.
“The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials. Astra is the best in class weapon system and has undergone more than 20 developmental trials,” the statement read.
Lauding the work of the IAF, DRDO and associated team members involved in the mission, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India has attained a high level of capability in the indigenous design and development of advanced weapon systems.
Astra, which weighs over 150 kg, has an operation range of 80–110 km in head-on chase and 20 km in tail chase. It flies at a speed of Mach 4.5, faster than all of the world’s fighter aircraft currently in operation.