India’s first domestically designed and developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), designated Astra, is ready for induction into the Indian Air Force’s (IAFs) inventory following the successful completion of pre-induction trials, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on October 4. The Astra BVRAAM is slated for induction in 2019.
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 pre-induction trials entailed the firing of the missile from an IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter against unmanned aerial vehicles. According to information supplied by the MoD, the missile hit and destroyed all of its designated aerial targets.
“Astria 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 MoD said on October 4. The Astra has been under development by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the past decade. The weapon system has undergone over twenty development trials.