Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)
|An IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI firing Astra Mk1 BVRAAM (File Photo)|
The 340 kilometers range Astra Mark III that is currently under development is powered by ramjet engine that beats the traditional solid-fueled motor in terms of range but the ramjet engine makes the Astra Mark 3 too costly to acquire in large numbers.
The DRDO is developing a multi-pulse solid propellant rocket motor that will allow three pulses on a single motor for achieving long range while keeping per unit cost of the missile on the lower side.
The new missile will have a wider dimension that will allow it to have a range of 280 kilometers while costing half of ramjet-powered Astra Mark III.