The Ministry of Defence it has signed a contract with the Hyderabad-based public-sector Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) for supply of the Astra Mark-1, for deployment on fighter jets of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
About Astra Mark-1 Missile
- The Astra Mk-1 missile is a beyond visual range (BVR), air-to-air missile (AAM).
- The missile has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for deployment on fighter jets like Sukhoi-30 MKI and Tejas of the IAF and the Mig-29K of the Navy.
BVM missiles are capable of engaging beyond the range of 20 nautical miles or 37 kilometers.
AAMs are fired from an airborne asset to destroy an airborne target.
The Astra project was officially launched in the early 2000s with defined parameters and proposed future variants. Around 2017, the development phase of Mk-1 version was complete.
- While the range for Astra Mk-1 is around 110 km, the Mk-2 with a range over 150 km is under development and Mk-3 version with a longer range is being envisaged.
- One more version of Astra, with a range smaller than Mk-1 is also under development.
Significance of Astra Missile
- AAMs with BVR capability provides large stand-off ranges to own fighter aircraft which can neutralise adversary airborne assets without exposing themselves to adversary air defence measures.
- Stand-off range means the missile is launched at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking side to evade defensive fire from the target.
- The missile can travel at speeds more than four times that of sound and can reach a maximum altitude of 20 km, making it extremely flexible for air combat.
- The missile is fully integrated on the Sukhoi 30 MKI I and will be integrated with other fighter aircraft in a phased manner, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
- The Indian Navy will integrate the missile on the MiG-29K fighter aircraft which are deployed on the Navy’s aircraft carriers, thus adding to the lethality of India’s Aircraft carriers.
Visit Abhiyan PEDIA (One of the Most Followed / Recommended) for UPSC Revisions: Click Here
IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram: Click on the Below link to Join our Channels to stay Updated
IAS Abhiyan Official: Click Here to Join
For UPSC Mains Value Edition (Facts, Quotes, Best Practices, Case Studies): Click Here to Join