Source – ABP news bureau
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Tuesday carried out successful test firing of the Astra air-to-air missile system off the Odisha coast, reported news agency ANI. The missile fired from a Su-30MKI fighter jet can strike targets beyond 100 km. It will be equipped on the indigenous LCA Tejas Mark1A fighter aircraft, defence officials said.
The missiles will also be fitted on the upgraded MiG-29 jets.
The Astra air-to-air missile is a state-of-the-art missile system developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The missile is designed to engage and destroy aerial targets at various ranges and altitudes.
The Astra missile has a range of up to 110 km and can engage targets at altitudes of up to 20 km. The missile is capable of engaging both agile and non-manoeuvering targets, making it highly versatile in air-to-air combat situations.
The Astra missile uses a solid-fuel rocket motor and an advanced guidance system to achieve its exceptional performance. The missile’s guidance system includes inertial navigation, mid-course guidance, and active radar homing for terminal guidance. This allows the missile to track and engage targets even in adverse weather conditions and electronic countermeasures environments.
The Astra missile can be launched from various aircraft, including the Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, and Tejas fighter jets. The missile is equipped with an on-board radio proximity fuse that enables it to detonate when it is close to its target, ensuring maximum damage.
The Astra missile was first tested in 2003 and underwent several successful trials before it was inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2019. The missile is a crucial addition to India’s air defense capabilities, providing the country with an indigenous, highly advanced air-to-air missile system.
The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, on which the Astra will be equipped, is an indigenous fighter aircraft developed by India’s state-owned aerospace and defense company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The aircraft was designed to replace the aging MiG-21s and other fighter aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The Tejas is a lightweight, single-engine, multirole fighter aircraft that is capable of air superiority, ground attack, and reconnaissance missions. It has a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and a range of over 3,000 km, making it a highly versatile and capable aircraft.
The Tejas is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and weapon systems, including an advanced radar, electronic warfare suite, and a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. The aircraft’s cockpit is also designed to provide the pilot with excellent situational awareness, with a modern glass cockpit and a heads-up display.
The Tejas has undergone several upgrades and improvements over the years, including the incorporation of new technologies and weapons systems. The aircraft’s latest version, the Tejas Mark 1A, features advanced avionics and weapons, including the Israeli Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile.
The Tejas has been inducted into the IAF and has seen combat service during the 2021 India-China border conflict. The aircraft’s performance during the conflict was praised by the IAF, with the Tejas being credited with providing critical air support to ground troops.
The Tejas is a significant achievement for India’s aerospace industry, as it is the first fighter aircraft to be completely designed and developed within the country.