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Astra Missile: Advancing Indian Air Power

Context:

The Minister of State for Defence recently flagged off the indigenously developed Astra Missiles for supply to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Bharat Dynamics in Hyderabad.

Relevance:

GS III: Defence

Astra Missile: Advancing Indian Air Power

  • Purpose and Design: Astra stands as a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile meticulously crafted for integration onto fighter aircraft. Originating from indigenous efforts by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), it is tailored for deployment in the Indian Air Force (IAF). Its primary mission is the engagement and destruction of highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft.
  • Development and Classification: Acknowledged as the forefront in its category globally, the Astra missile is considered the finest air-to-air missile system in its class. It is undergoing development in multiple variants, addressing specific operational requirements dictated by diverse scenarios.
  • Induction into IAF: The ASTRA Mk-I Weapon System, seamlessly integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft, marks a significant milestone as it enters the arsenal of the Indian Air Force. The induction underscores the strategic importance and operational readiness of the Astra missile in enhancing India’s air defense capabilities.

-Source: The Times of India


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