Tuesday, May 24, 2011

India Performs Ballistic Flight Test of Astra Missile

India conducted a ballistic flight test of its Astra Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on May 20. Additional tests will follow. India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing this missile.

The Astra is a supersonic missile with a range of 80 km in its head-on mode and 20 km in tail-chase mode. The missile uses a solid-propellant motor and carries a 15 kg conventional warhead. The Astra is 3.8-meters long and has a diameter of 178 mm. The missile's overall launch weight is 160 kg.

The Astra can travel 110 kilometers when launched from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when fired from an altitude of 8 kilometers, and 21 kilometers when launched at sea-level. 

The missile is to arm Indian fighters such as the Su-30MKI, MiG-29 and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). 

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