Astra Mk1: Govt places order for first indigenous BVR missile
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.
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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