India test fires Astra missile
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd reports the successful launch of a locally produced Astra missile.
By Richard Tomkins | March 20, 2015 at 4:52 PM
India’s Astra missile is fired from an air force fighter. Photo by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
BENGALURU, India, March 20 (UPI) -- India's first locally produced beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile has been successfully launched by the Indian Air Force, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., said.
The test was conducted earlier this week using an Astra missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead. The missile, developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization, was fired from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft against a pilotless target aircraft.
"The successful launch is an important milestone in enhancing the armament capabilities of Su-30MKI aircraft," said Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, chairman of HAL. "HAL played a vital role in this project in designing and developing the modification scheme for integration of the missile with aircraft navigation, aiming and weapon systems.
"HAL has also designed the flight test instrumentation for data acquisition from aircraft sensors and online telemetry of aircraft data for real-time monitoring of aircraft handling qualities."
The Astra is an active radar homing missile with a range of as much as 50 miles.
HAL said the test validated the weapon's capability to conduct flight maneuvers involving very high gravitational forces.
Before Thursday's test the Indian Air Force conducted captive flight tests with the missile, assessing its aerostructural integrity, and its electrical and avionic interfaces.
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2015/03/20/India-test-fires-Astra-missile/5511426881730/DRDO makes progress with more Astra BVRAAM tests
Publication:Jane's Defence Weekly
Author:Rahul Udoshi, Bangalore
Two Astra (Mk I) air-to-air beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles have been test fired from an Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter off the Odisha coast, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced on 19 March.
A test on 18 March "aimed at confirming the missile's capability to undergo manoeuvres involving very high gravitational forces up to the order of 30 G", said the DRDO.
On 19 March an Astra missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead successfully destroyed a Lakshya target drone, the DRDO statement added.
Astra project director S Venugopal said these test firings - the missile's fourth and fifth -- were "perfect in all respects and engaged the target with precision".
"More tests will follow," he added.
The Astra's subsystems were tested in firings from Su-30MKIs in 2013 and in January and May 2014.
An onboard camera shows the Astra BVRAAM missile on the pylon of an IAF Su-30MKI on 19 March. (DRDO)
An Astra BVRAAM missile being fired during tests over the Bay of Bengal. (DRDO)COMMENT
IHS Jane's Air Launched Weapons notes that the DRDO has developed two variants of the Astra, which is India's first indigenously developed air-to-air missile.
"The existence of the baseline Astra 1 has been acknowledged since the 1990s but the Astra 2 was first reported only in 2011 … Discussions with DRDO officials have suggested that the Astra 1 configuration has been abandoned in favour of the Astra 2 but DRDO data from 2012 continues to list both missiles."
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said recently that the Astra programme (one of nine delayed DRDO projects) is behind schedule for various reasons but "corrective/remedial measures have been taken to complete the ongoing projects in time".
IHS Jane's reported in February that the DRDO is now working on an 80-100 km-range Mk II or B variant of the Astra, a prototype of which should be ready "within the next 18 months".