India’s beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAM) Astra missile launch has been deferred on Monday due to a technical snag. The test was scheduled on March 12.
“The pilotless target aircraft (PTA) was flown as per schedule but the missile did not take off due to technical glitches in the system. The missile could not be launched through an unmanned aerial vehicle which was to be used as a target for the missile was flown from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast,” Indian Express Daily quoted a defense official as saying.
A fresh trial will either be conducted either on Tuesday or Wednesday, ITR Director MVKV Prasad was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The missile, sanctioned in 2004 at $1.5 billion, was test fired in May last year over the Arabian Sea off Goa and was declared a success following a host of technical glitches like a defective aerodynamic configuration since its conception.
The BVR missiles are quite complex, with rocket/ramjet propulsion, micro-computers, active radar guidance/inertial navigation systems, terminal radar frequency seekers and the like - since they have to effectively destroy highly-agile supersonic fighters packed with "counter-measures" at long ranges.