Trials over, Astra missile ready for induction

New Delhi, Oct 4  A series of successful flight trials of Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVR-AAM) Astra, conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF), have concluded and the missile is ready to be inducted into the IAF inventory.The induction is expected next year, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.The tests were conducted between September 26 and October 3 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore as part of the final development trials of the missile.The trials were a combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-boresight, medium and long ranges.The missiles were telemetered for evaluation of online performance of all sub-systems especially the datalink, active radio frequency (RF) seeker and proximity fuse for end-game performance."Astra has been tested six times under different launch conditions and ranges as part of the final development trial. The missile has engaged targets and all the mission objectives have been met," the Defence Ministry release said.With IAF's active participation, DRDO has developed the missile and integrated the weapon on Su-30 and other air platforms. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the development and production of different sub-systems of the missile.