Saturday, 21 May 2011

Astra Flight Tested

Update : A flight-test of air-to-air missile Astra failed on Friday after it developed a snag during a manoeuvre after being launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


DRDO's Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander said the mission could not be completed as the missile developed a “control-related fault” when a manoeuvre was attempted. “A snag developed during a manoeuvre. The missile lost control after it reached a certain height. A team is analysing the data.”


Astra, a single-stage missile, is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in a head-on mode at a range of 80 km.


It can carry a 15-kg warhead.


There are plans to equip fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30, Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas with it after the completion of its air-launched trials.

BALASORE (ORISSA): India on Friday carried out the ballistic flight test of Astra -- Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile -- from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near here today.

The missile was fired around 0950 hours, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said, adding two more tests are likely to be conducted in the next two days.

The missile is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a range of 80 km and in tail-chase mode at 20 km.

"The main purpose of today's trial is to gauge the performance of the motor, propulsion system and the configurations of the vehicle and aero-dynamics evaluation," said a DRDO scientist.
However, we are yet to know whether the test has been successful. Two more tests are likely to be conducted in the next two days," they said

The data is being analysed by the scientists to ascertain the outcome of the trial.

Astra, which uses solid propellant, can carry a conventional warhead of 15 kg. It is 3.8-meter long and has a diameter of 178 mm with an overall launch weight of 160 kg.

The missile could be launched from different altitudes. It can cover 110 km when launched from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when fired from an altitude of eight km and 21 km when the altitude is sea-level.DRDO officials said it is more advanced than the similar class of missiles of the US, Russia and France.

The missile, after its final trials, would be integrated with fighter aircraft Su-30 MKI.