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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India test fires air-to-air Astra Missile

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 11, IRNA -- India on Monday test fired Indigenously developed and beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile 'Astra' from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa state.

The missile was fired from a launcher in the launch pad No. 2 of the ITR complex today morning, defence sources said.

After thorough data analysis of the flight test, another test is expected to be conducted shortly, they said.

"Before being made fully operational, the complex missile system will undergo some more trials, though tests on its navigation, control, air frame, propulsion and other sub-systems have been validated," said a source from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR.

The single-stage, solid fuel 'Astra' missile "is more advanced in its category than the contemporary BVR missiles and it is capable of engaging and destroying highly manoeuvrable supersonic aerial targets," the source said.

Describing 'Astra' as futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon could intercept a target at supersonic speeds between mach 1.2 to 1.4 (mach one is equivalent to 1236 kmph).

Though the exact range of today's trial was not disclosed, scientists are working to ensure that 'Astra' performs 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 with a range of 30 km.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 890314



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