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Armenia and many Sukhoi operators want to equip their Su-30 jets with Indian Astra BVR missile

Source : IgMp Bureau

Armenia and many Sukhoi operators want to equip their Su-30 jets with Indian Astra BVR missile
An Astra Mark-1 Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile CGI by Kuntal Biswas

Armenia and several operators of Sukhoi Su-30 jets are interested in outfitting their aircraft with India’s Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), a move facilitated by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), India’s primary missile manufacturer. The discussions between BDL and a Su-30 operator, reportedly Armenia, signal a potential export opportunity for the Astra missile, enhancing India’s defense export capabilities and showcasing its aerospace industry’s growth.

The Astra missile, developed by DRDO and produced by BDL, is praised for its superiority over the Russian R-77 BVRAAM due to its extended range and advanced counter-electronic measures (ECM) resistance, offering enhanced combat capabilities.

Other countries with Russian fighter jets have also shown interest in integrating the Astra missile. BDL is currently negotiating with two additional potential buyers, with one potential deal involving another Su-30 operator possibly concluding this year.

Armenia’s interest in equipping its small fleet of Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets with long-range BVR missiles like the Astra Mark-1 (110km+ range) is driven by the need to counter Azerbaijan’s acquisition of Pakistani JF-17 Block-III jets. Armenia could also consider procuring the HAL LCA Tejas Mk1A from India, which is equipped with advanced features like an AESA radar, EW suite, 110-160+ km range Astra BVR missiles, Rudram Anti-Radiation Missiles, Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon, and BrahMos-NG supersonic cruise missiles. These capabilities would enable Armenia to target a significant portion of Azerbaijani territory from a safe distance.

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI test firing Astra Mark-1 Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (File Photo)

The successful export of the Astra missile would be a significant milestone for India, showcasing its technological prowess and contributing to its defense export goals. It would also highlight the marketability of India’s indigenous defense products and create opportunities for further collaborations and exports.

The integration of the Astra missile with the Indian-made LCA Tejas Mk1 fighter jet expands its potential user base beyond Sukhoi Su-30 operators, making it more attractive to a broader range of potential buyers.

Overall, the potential export deal for the Astra missile reflects India’s growing self-reliance in defense technologies and its aspirations to become a major player in the global arms market. Continued development and successful international collaborations could lead to more export opportunities, bolstering India’s strategic and economic interests.

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