The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test-fired air-to-air missile Astra from the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha on Tuesday, September 17. The indigenously designed missile was launched from Sukhoi-30 MKI combat aircraft as a part of user trials.
The Ministry of Defence issued a statement and said, "The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of the first indigenous air-to-air missile."
The mission was executed in a textbook manner, said a defence official. "Various Radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and Sensors tracked the missile and confirmed its engagement with the target," added the defence statement.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Air Force teams for carrying out the test successfully.
Air-to-air missile Astra has been designed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier research and development organisation of the armed forces in India. The beyond-visual-range missile is capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitudes including long-range as well as short-range targets.
The missile with a range of over 70 km can fly towards its target at a speed of over 5,000 kilometres per hour. Astra also has a 15-kilogramme high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead.