Recently, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Limited Series Production-7 (LSP-7) successfully test fired the ASTRA indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile off the coast of Goa.
The Astra project was officially launched in the early 2000s with defined parameters and proposed future variants.
Around 2017, the development phase of the Mk-1 version was complete.
Several successful tests have been conducted since 2017 from Sukhoi-30 MKIs.
About ASTRA indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR):
The Astra Mk-1 is a Air-to-Air Missile (AAM).
BVM missiles are capable of engaging beyond the range of 20 nautical miles or 37 kilometers.
AAMs are fired from an airborne asset to destroy an airborne target.
The range for Astra Mk-1 is around 110 km.
The Mk-2 with a range over 150 km is under development and Mk-3 version with a longer range is being envisaged.
One more version of Astra, with a range smaller than Mk-1 is also under development.
Designed and Developed by:
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Can be integrated with other Fighter Aircraft: The missile is fully integrated on the Sukhoi 30 MKI I and will be integrated with other fighter aircraft in a phased manner, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
It will integrate the missile on the MiG-29K fighter aircraft which are deployed on the Navy’s aircraft carriers, thus adding to the lethality of India’s Aircraft carriers.