Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flight-test of Astra fails

A flight-test of air-to-air missile Astra failed on Friday after it developed a snag during a manoeuvre after being launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

DRDO's Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander said the mission could not be completed as the missile developed a “control-related fault” when a manoeuvre was attempted. “A snag developed during a manoeuvre. The missile lost control after it reached a certain height. A team is analysing the data.”

Astra, a single-stage missile, is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in a head-on mode at a range of 80 km.

It can carry a 15-kg warhead.

There are plans to equip fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30, Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas with it after the completion of its air-launched trials.

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