India today successfully test-fired Astra, an indigenously designed, all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile with a range of over 70km from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft off the coast of Bay of Bengal. “Astra has been successfully flight tested off the coast of Odisha. The missile was launched today from Su-30 MKI as a part of User trials. The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile,” the Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
It said the mission profile was executed in a text book manner and various Radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and sensors tracked the missile and confirmed its engagement with the target. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
Astra is India's first indigenous effort at developing a missile of this class and is at present at an advanced stage of development. It is capable of engaging targets of different ranges and altitudes including long-range as well as short-range targets. The DRDO reportedly plans to develop a new version of the Astra missile which would have a range of 300 kilometres.