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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India sets to test air-to-air 'Aastra' missile within month

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, July 17, IRNA
India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will test the beyond visual range air-to-air- combat missile 'Aastra' within a month.

DRDO sources said the missile would be test-fired from the Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force, UNI reported.

The beyond visual range missile can lock on to enemy aircraft from ranges above 100 km.

The DRDO had already tested two test versions of the missile for which rs1,000 crore have already been spent.

Sources pointed that the test assumes importance as the air version of the Indo-Russian Brahmos missile will be test-fired from the Sukhoi platform in coming months. The 'Aastra' missile test will help scientists offer structural changes in the Sukhoi 30 aircraft to launch Brahmos from a hard point on its belly.

Aastra is a state-of-the-art beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed for a range of over 80 km in head-on mode and 20 km in tail-chase mode. It can engage highly maneuvering targets.

The aim of the program is to provide the Indian Air Force with an indigenously-designed BVRAAM to equip its Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Su-30MKI and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

A model of the Aastra missile was first shown to the public at Aero India '98' experts recall.


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