India Test Fires Air Force Air-to-Air Astra Missile


India has successfully test fired the indigenously made short-range Astra air-to-air missile developed for the air force jet fighters from the integrated test range (ITR) off the Orissa coast.

Following the successful completion of all tests, the missile will be integrated on the air force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000H, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, MiG-21 Bison and Tejas combat jets.

A high-end tactical missile, the Astra has been designed to intercept enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in head-on mode at a range of 80km and in a chase mode at 20km.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Astra missile uses an in-house-developed solid fuel propellant and looks similar to the Matra Super 530 missile.

First tested in May 2003, the Astra missile was test fired twice on 11 January 2010.

The missile will also be used for the Indian Navy's Sea Harrier jump jets.