The Indian Air force (IAF) has successfully fired Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAM) from a Su-30 fighter aircraft at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in Odisha.

The test launch was undertaken as a part of an induction phase trial to demonstrate the aerodynamic characteristics of the missile. It confirmed the repeatability, robustness, and endurance capability of Astra as a weapon system, as reported by The New Indian Express.

ITR director M V K V Prasad was quoted by Press Trust Of India as saying that the missile was successfully tested to hit a simulated target at the range.

All the subsystems such as propulsion, navigation, guidance, and also the smooth separation of the missile from the aircraft, have been proved, Prasad added.

"The test-launch was undertaken as a part of an induction phase trial to demonstrate the aerodynamic characteristics of the missile."

The missile, which is now scheduled to be launched against an actual target in the near future, failed to launch due to technical problem in the system on 16 March. This prompted the manufacturer, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to defer the trial.

The missile had already failed twice due to weapon systems malfunctions in 2011, but successfully completed a series of developmental tests, captive flights, and trials from Su-30MKI fighter aircraft between 2012 and 2014.

Manufacturing of the Astra is taken care of by DRDO. The all-aspect, all-weather missile has active radar terminal guidance, excellent electronic counter-countermeasures features, smokeless propulsion, and a high single-shot kill probability.

The missile carries a 15kg high-explosive warhead, and can engage both short-range aerial targets located at up to 20km and long-range targets at a distance of up to 80km using alternative propulsion modes.

Astra is set to undergo additional trials to clear the launch envelope, and will soon be inducted in the IAF.