ASTRA the first indigenously developed air-to-air missile was successfully flight-tested off the coast of Odisha.
- The Astra missile is developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
- It works on the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) technology that enables the fighter-pilots to shoot precisely at the enemy targets which are beyond their visual range.
- The specifications of the missile are:
- Speed: over 5,555 km per hour or 4.5 mach
- Range: over 70 km,
- Payload/warhead capacity: 15 kg.
Air to Air Missile (AAM) is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft or any airborne object.
AAM is broadly classified into 2 types depending on the range factor of the missile.
- Short Range Air to Air Missile (SRAAM) or Within Visual Range Air to Air Missile (WVRAAM) – These Missiles are designed to engage aerial targets within a range of 30 km. Most of these missiles use infrared guidance and are called heat-seeking missiles. These missiles are designed for better agility, hence they are also called dogfight missiles.
- Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) – These missiles can hit targets beyond the range of 37 Km. These are radar-guided missiles. They don’t use infrared detector since the infrared signatures of aerial targets would be too weak at long ranges.
Astra is the Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation). It can engage aerial targets at a range of 80 km – 110 km. It has been integrated with Sukhoi 30 Mki, Mirage 2000, LCA, MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM)
DRDO has successfully test-fired indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) from a test range off the Odisha coast.
It has been developed to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system, and has 360-degree coverage.
- It uses solid fuel propellant and has a strike range of 25-30 km with capability of hitting multiple targets.
- It is capable of hitting the low flying objects.
- The missile is an all-weather, all-terrain surface-to-air missile equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars
- The missile can be mounted on a truck and is stored in a canister.
- The missile is equipped with a midcourse inertial navigation system with a two-way data link and a DRDO-developed terminal active seeker. The system has the capability to search and track targets while moving.
- QRSAM is a compact weapon system and is mobile. It has a fully automated Command and Control System. The missile system comprises of two four-walled radars both of which encompass a 360-degree coverage, namely, the Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar and the Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar, apart from the launcher.