The Ministry of Defence said that it 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. The Astra Mk-1 is a beyond visual range (BVR), air-to-air missile (AAM).

More about Astra

  1. 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.
  2. BVM missiles are capable of engaging beyond the range of 20 nautical miles or 37 kilometers. AAMs are fired from an airborne asset to destroy an airborne target.
  3. The Astra project was officially launched in the early 2000s with defined parameters and proposed future variants. Around 2017, the development phase of Mk-1 version was complete.
  4. Several successful tests have been conducted since 2017 from Sukhoi-30 MKIs. While the range for Astra Mk-1 is around 110 km, the Mk-2 with a range over 150 km is under development and Mk-3 version with a longer range is being envisaged.
  5. 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.
  6. One more version of Astra, with a range smaller than Mk-1 is also under development.