Tejas, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) LSP-7 on Wednesday successfully test-fired indigenously developed ASTRA beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile off the coast of Goa. The missile release was successfully carried out from the aircraft at an altitude of about 20,000 feet, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
“All the test objectives were met, and it was a perfect textbook launch,” said MoD.
The test launch was monitored by the Test Director and scientists of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), along with officials from Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DG-AQA). The aircraft was also monitored by a Chase Tejas twin-seater aircraft.
ASTRA, a state-of-the-art BVR air-to-air missile to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets, is designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and other laboratories of DRDO. The indigenous Astra BVR firing from homegrown Tejas fighters is a major step towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Ministry said in its statement.
The missile system is designed to be mounted on a fighter aircraft and engages and destroys ‘highly manoeuvring supersonic’ aircraft. Built to function across weather conditions and during both day and night, the system is being developed to meet ‘specific requirements,’ as per the DRDO.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh complimented ADA, DRDO, CEMILAC, DG-AQA and the industry for the successful test firing of the missile from the Tejas-LCA. The Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) and Chairman DRDO, Samir V Kamat, also congratulated the teams involved in the successful launch.