Astra Mk1: Govt places order for first indigenous BVR missile

Tags: Defence

The Ministry of Defence has 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. 

  • About Astra Mk-1 Missile

  •  It is a beyond visual range (BVR), air-to-air missile (AAM).

  • It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited.

  • The project was officially launched in the early 2000s.

  • It has a range of over 100 km and 20 km altitude.

  • It will be deployed on fighter jets like Indian Air Force's Sukhoi-30 MKI and Tejas and Navy's MiG-29K.

  • The contract worth Rs 2,971 crore for the Astra Mk1 will be completed in six years.

  • Currently, India imports similar missiles from Israel, Russia and a few other manufacturers.

  • The Astra Mk-1 has a range of about 110 km, the Mk-2 with a range of over 150 km is being developed and a longer range Mk-3 variant is being envisaged.

  • Strategic significance

  • The missile has been designed based on the requirements specified by the IAF for BVR as well as close-combat engagement.

  • Its capability provides large stand-off ranges to get fighter aircraft.

  • It can neutralise adversarial air assets without exposing them to unfavourable air defence measures.

  • It is technically and economically superior to many such imported missiles.

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