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Astra Missile – India’s First Air-to-Air Missile by India(Latest)

What is an Astra Missile?

Astra missile is an active radar homing beyond – visual – range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by DRDO. Astra uses a smokeless propulsion system. This is Indian airforces first indigenous air-to-air BVR missile, a practical alternative to expensive Russian, French and Israeli missile.

Long range

Astra missile is a long-range designed to be capable of an engaging target at varying range and altitude allowing for engagement for both short-range targets (up to 20km) and long-range targets( up to 80-110km) using alternative propulsion modes. DRDO claims that the missile is an all-weather weapon. The missile could be launched from different altitudes. It can cover 110 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 20 km when the altitude is sea level. It will have an active range of 25 km.

Versatile capability

Indian Astra missile can engage targets at very long range, high maneuvering target at medium range. Multiple missiles can be launched to engage multiple targets.

Successful trials.

Except for a failure in one test 2016, the missile has successfully completed all its tests. According to a statement by the ministry of defense, the successful trials were conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of chandipur, Odisha. The trials tools place between Septembers 11-40 f 2017. As many as seven trials were conducted against a pilotless target, aircraft says the ministry of defense. The missile objectives and parameters were met by all sub-systems of the missile, including the indigenous RF seeker.

Description

It is 3.8 meters long and is narrow in front of the wings. The propellant used is HTPB (solid-fuel). A ramjet propulsion for improved range and enhanced kinematics performance, similar to that used in the Akash Surface-to-air missile, is also being developed. The warhead is a 15 kg high explosive which is activated by a proximity fuse.

Indigenous seeker

The missile guidance is provided by a terminal active radar-seeker and updated mid-course internal guidance system, which locates and tracks targets. Onboard electronic counter-measures jam radar signals from enemy radar, making tracking of the missile extremely difficult

Seven-Launch platforms

It can be launched from a variety of platforms. It has already been fitted to Su-30mKI. DRDO started to integrate the Astra BVRAAM with the Indian Air force’s Mirage 2000. MiG-29 and HAL Tejas fighter aircraft. In future, it is expected to be fitted with Tejas MK2.

Speed and altitude.

The missile’s maximum speed is Mach 4.5 and can attain the maximum altitude of 20km.

Fully Indigenous

Astra missile is fully indigenous. It has been developed by DRDO while over 50 public and private industries are said to have contributed to making the weapon system. G Satish Reddy, the Director-General, missiles, and strategic systems have expressed confidence that the technologies developed under the Astra Programme will serve as building blocks for more variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

Astra MK2

The Mark-2 version of Astra will have a maximum range of 150 km and tail chase range of up to 35 km and will feature shorter fins that the original Mark 1 design. It will be fitted with a DRDO developed laser fuse in place of radar fuse.

Export potential.

Astra missile can be exported to other countries. Already some Middle East countries and South East Asian nations have shown interest in Astra. India intends to start exporting Astra missile by 2018-2019.

Speed and altitude.

The missile’s maximum speed is Mach 4.5 and can attain a maximum altitude of 20km.

Fully Indigenous

Astra missile is fully indigenous. It has been developed by DRDO while over 50 public and private industries are said to have contributed to making the weapon system. G Satish Reddy, the Director-General, missiles, and strategic systems have expressed confidence that the technologies developed under the Astra Programme will serve as building blocks for more variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

Astra MK2

The Mark-2 version of Astra will have a maximum range of 150 km and tail chase range of up to 35 km and will feature shorter fins that the original Mark 1 design. It will be fitted with a DRDO developed laser fuse in place of radar fuse.

Export potential

Astra missile can be exported to other countries. Already some Middle East countries and South East Asian nations have shown interest in Astra. India intends to start exporting Astra missile by 2018-2019.

Astra Missile

Astra is an all-weather beyond-visual-range air to air missile developed by the Defence Research and development organization, India. It is the first air-to-air missile developed by India. It features mid-course inertial guidance with terminal radar homing.

Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20km and long-range targets up-to a distance of 80 km.

Astra has been integrated with Indian Air force’s Suk hoi, Su-30MKI and will be integrated with Dassault Mirage 2000 and Mikoyan MiG-29 in the future.

Astra missile had begun by 1990 with the completion of the pre-feasibility study. Astra was first revealed to the public for the first time at Aero India in 1998. The project to develop Astra missile was officially sanctioned in 2004 with a budget of Rs. 955 Crore in 2017.

The project was to be led by Defense Research and Development Laboratory with assistance from Hindustan Aeronautical limited and Electronic Corporation of India Limited.

1st Designed, Modification in propulsion and Aerodynamics

  • Initially, version of Astra weighed 300 kg with a range of 25-40 km and was planned to integrate with LCA Tejas.
  • Astra is redesigned in 2006 due to high altitude control and performance flaws.
  • The Short-span long-chord wings were replaced by cropped delta wings, placed near the nose (Head).

Flaws (problems) arising from the adverse interaction between aerodynamic control surfaces and control guidance and propulsion system.

2nd designed modification changes.

  • A weight of the Astra missile brings down from 300 kg to 130 kg, (lighter than initial version).
  • Astra project is finally developed and tested and was cleared for the production in 2017.
  • Astra missiles are manufacturing by Dynamics limited manufacturing facility at Sangareddy, Telangana.
  • The company had to manufacture 50 missiles initially.
  • DRDO plans to develop the MK2 variant of Astra with its advanced technologies, engaged to develop a range of 100 km.
  • In the upcoming days, DRDO has planned to implement, multi different propulsion systems to be included liquid-fuel-ramjet, solid-fuel ramjet, and dual pulse solid rocket motor.

Tests conducted.

  1. Airframe
  2. Propulsion system
  3. Guidance control system
  4. Dual mode guidance and night firing capacity

Astra Missile Specification

Type Air-to-Air missile
Developed India
Designed DRDO
Manufacturer Bharat Dynamics Limited
Weight 154 kg (340 lb.)
Length 3.57 m (1.17 ft.)
Diameter 178 mm(7.0 inch)
Warhead Weight High explosive pre-programmed warhead
Warhead 15 kg (33 lb.)
Mechanism Radar proximity fuse
Propellant Solid
Operational Range 80-110 km (50-68 mi)In a head-on chase, 20 km(12 mi) in the tail chase
Speed Mach 4.5 (supersonic)
Flight Ceiling 20 km (66,000 ft.)
Guidance system Inertial, mid-course update and terminal active radar harming
Launch from Su – 30 MKI

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