The Indian Air Force (IAF) test fired the air-to-air missile Astra from a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet over the Bay of Bengal Thursday.
Defence sources told Indian Express that the beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile fired from a Sukhoi fighter jet successfully targeted a pilotless target aircraft (PTA) Banshee.
“The exercise was conducted in a war-like scenario and the missile was fired on an actual target. Data collected during the test is being examined,” said an official.
The test demonstrated the repeatability, robustness and endurance capability of the Astra weapon system, said the official.
The air exercise will continue for some more days involving two other air-to-air missiles apart from Astra, report adds.
Astra is designed for 80-km range in head-on mode and 20 km-range in tail-chase mode. The 3.8 metre long missile, which has launch weight of about 154 kg, uses solid-fuel propellant and a 15 kg high-explosive warhead, activated by a proximity fuse.
Apart from Sukhoi, the missile can be integrated with Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The Indian Air Force will officially test fire Astra, the Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), from the Su-30MKI aircraft for the first time during the Iron Fist exercise this week. The missile launch will take place on March 18 in the Pokhran deserts in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TOI reported Monday
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