HomeIndian DefenceIAF Receives Indigenous Astra BVR Missile, & It's Export-Ready: Here's How Lethal...

IAF Receives Indigenous Astra BVR Missile, & It’s Export-Ready: Here’s How Lethal & Capable IAF’s Homegrown Missile is

Source : Republic

IAF Receives Indigenous Astra BVR Missile, & It's Export-Ready: Here's How Lethal & Capable IAF's Homegrown Missile is
Astra Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile, designed by DRDO and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)

IAF Receives Indigenous Astra BVR Missile, & It’s Export-Ready: Here’s How Lethal & Capable IAF’s Homegrown Missile is

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) received a substantial batch of Astra Mk1 Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles on Sunday, and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) says it’s ready to be exported. The consignment was flagged off by Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, at BDL’s Kanchanbagh Unit.

Developed and manufactured in India, the Astra missile is a notable achievement for the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and positions BDL as a global player in advanced air-to-air missile production. The flag-off ceremony witnessed the presence of BDL Chairman and Managing Director, Commodore A. Madhavarao (Retd), along with officials from DRDO, IAF, and BDL. The Astra Weapon System, an air-to-air missile, is designed to engage targets beyond 100 km, making it a formidable asset for the IAF.

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During the flag-off ceremony of Astra Missile.

“Astra Weapon System is the best in its class of weapon systems in the world in the category of air-to-air missiles. The missile has a range of 100 plus km,” the official statement said.

Specifications That Make Astra a Key Asset for IAF

Range: The ASTRA missile exhibits a range of 80 to 110 km, allowing it to engage targets beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight, granting it true BVR capabilities.

Altitude: With the ability to operate at altitudes of up to 20 km, the ASTRA system ensures comprehensive coverage across various scenarios.

Length and Diameter: The missile is around 3840 mm long and has a diameter of 178 mm, underlining its sleek , aerodynamic design and manoeuvring capabilities.

Flight Duration: With a flight duration of 100 to 120 seconds, the ASTRA missile quickly and efficiently reaches its target and neutralises it, proven by the numerous user and validation trials by DRDO on various platforms including the Tejas.

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State Defence Minister Ajay Bhatt inspects the booster of ASTRA missile.

Warhead: Armed with a High Explosive (HE) pre-fragmented warhead, the ASTRA system packs a punch against its intended targets.

Max Speed: Capable of reaching speeds of Mach 4.5, the ASTRA missile ensures rapid response and interception & interdiction capabilities.

Propulsion: The missile is powered by a Solid Rocket Motor, contributing to its agility and versatility.

Detonation Mechanism: Employing a radar proximity fuse, the ASTRA system optimises its precision in target engagement.

Guidance System: Featuring inertial guidance, mid-course updates, and terminal active radar homing (at 13 km), the missile has a sophisticated guidance system.

DRDO’s Future Plans for Astra

Currently, the Astra missile is integrated with the Su-30 MKI. However, DRDO is also developing The VL-SRSAM, Vertical Launch – Short Range Surface to Air Missile, which is the air defence version of the system and it comes with fibre-optic gyroscope-based inertial guidance during mid-course and active radar homing in the terminal phase. Featuring both Lock-on Before launch (LOBL) and Lock-on after launch (LOAL) capability, it receives mid-course updates through datalink. Designed to replace the Barak 1 system on Indian Navy warships, it also is slated to serve as a short-range air defence system for the Indian Air Force.

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During the event, Ajay Bhatt congratulated BDL for its efforts in alignment with the ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) policy of the Government of India. He commended BDL’s contribution to enhancing defence exports and mentioned the company’s focus on ‘Make in India’ with maximum indigenous content. BDL CMD Madhavarao underlined the interest received from foreign countries for the Astra Weapon System, putting forth Astra as an export-ready defence platform.

As part of the tour, Ajay Bhatt also visited various manufacturing facilities at the Kanchanbagh Unit. The visit highlights BDL’s increased production capacity to meet both domestic and international demands for Astra missiles.

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