Astra missile tested after long gap
The visual range missile with a range of 80 kms has been fired from launch complex-II of the ITR at Chandipur.india Updated: Mar 25, 2007 18:47 IST
After a gap of nearly four years, India's indigenously developed Astra air-to-air missile was tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Orissa on Sunday.
The sleek beyond visual range missile with a range of 80 kms was fired from launch complex-II of the ITR, 15 kms from Orissa, at 11.56 am, defence sources said.
However, plans to test the Dhanush, the naval version of the home-grown Prithvi surface-to-surface missile, from a warship in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast on Sunday were postponed, they said.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory in Hyderabad, Astra is an advanced long-range missile with a solid propellant engine and advanced guidance equipment. It is capable of achieving speeds of around Mach 4.
The launch speed was estimated to be 0.6 to 2.2 Mach, sources said.
Astra was tested from the ITR thrice within a span of four days between May 9 and 12, 2003.
A team of scientists from DRDO and ITR were busy for the past few days preparing for the latest launch. The missile has been designed for use with the light combat aircraft (LCA) and is likely to be ready by 2011-12.