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Major boost to IAF, Navy: Govt seals deal to procure more Astra Mk I BVRAAMs

Source : Times Now

Major boost to IAF, Navy: Govt seals deal to procure more Astra Mk I BVRAAMs
Astra MK 1 Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAMs)

New Delhi: In a shot in the arm for the armed forces, Defence Ministry on Tuesday signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Ltd for the supply of ASTRA MK-I Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air to Air Missile (AAM) and associated equipment for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 2971 crores. The deal is being viewed as a major boost to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

ASTRA is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) class of Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) system designed to be mounted on fighter aircraft. The missile is designed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvering supersonic aircraft. The missile has all weather day and night capability. The ASTRA Mk-I Weapon System can be fitted to SU-30 Mk-I fighter aircraft.

In 2019, DRDO successfully flight tested ‘Astra’ from Su-30 MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur.

Astra BVRAAM has range of more than 100 kms with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile has midcourse guidance and RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the ASTRA MK-I BVR AAM based on the requirements issued by the IAF catering for Beyond Visual Range as well as close combat engagement reducing the dependency on foreign sources.

Astra Missile is designed to be launched from fighter aircraft like SU-30, Mirage-2000, MIG-29, LCA-Tejas etc. Astra missile system is developed to neutralise aerial targets such as F-16 aircraft. Filled warheads have been successfully tested for static and dynamic performance.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system.

”The Transfer of Technology from DRDO to BDL for production of ASTRA MK-I missile and all associated systems has been completed and production at BDL is in progress. This project will act as a catalyst for development of Infrastructure and Testing facilities at BDL. It will also create opportunities for several MSMEs in aerospace technology for a period of at least 25 years. The project essentially embodies the spirit of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will help facilitate realising the country’s journey towards self-reliance in Air to Air Missiles,” the defence ministry said in its release.

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