The Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully carried out test firing of its domestically manufactured Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

Conducted at the IAF’s Kalaikunda Air Force Station, the air-to-air weapon system was launched from Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter aircraft.

During the trial, the missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision, meeting the mission objectives.

The missile was targeted against an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Banshi, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The current flight test is part of a series of final pre-induction trials. The Astra BVRAAM has to date undergone more than 20 developmental trials.

“The flight test strengthens India’s capability in the local design and development of advanced weapon systems.”

Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated the efforts of the IAF and the missile manufacturer Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on the successful completion of the test.

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The flight test strengthens India’s capability in the local design and development of advanced weapon systems.

Between 11 and 14 September last year, the IAF successfully carried out a total of seven final development flight trials of the Astra weapon system over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha, India, against a number of Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).

The 3.8m-long missile system features high single-shot kill probability (SSKP) and is capable of operating under adverse weather conditions.

With a diameter of 178mm, the weapon has an overall launch weight of 160kg. The airborne launcher of the system can be used with a wide range of fighter aircraft.