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Astra Mk-1

  • IASbaba
  • June 2, 2022
  • 0
Science and Technology
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In News: The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the Hyderabad-based public-sector Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) for supply of the Astra Mark-1, at a cost of Rs 2,971 crore, for deployment on fighter jets of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Astra Mk-1

  • The Astra Mk-1 is a beyond visual range (BVR), air-to-air missile (AAM).
  • Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) technology enables the fighter-pilots to shoot precisely at the enemy targets which are beyond their visual range
  • AAMs are fired from an airborne asset to destroy an airborne target
  • The missile has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for deployment on fighter jets like Sukhoi-30 MKI and Tejas of the IAF and the Mig-29K of the Navy
  • Range: While the range for Astra Mk-1 is around 110 km, the Mk-2 with a range over 150 km is under development
  • Speed: The missile can travel at speeds more than four times that of sound and can reach a maximum altitude of 20 km, making it extremely flexible for air combat.

Strategic significance

  • The missile has been designed based on requirements specified by the IAF for BVR as well as close-combat engagement, reducing the dependency on foreign sources.
  • AAMs with BVR capability provides large stand-off ranges to own fighter aircraft.
  • Stand-off range means the missile is launched at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking side to evade defensive fire from the target.
  • It can neutralise adversary airborne assets without exposing adversary air defence measures.
  • Astra is technologically and economically superior to many such imported missile

Source: Indian Express

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