NEW DELHI: The indigenous Astra air-to-air missile was successfully tested from the home-grown Tejas fighter for the first time on Wednesday, even as the IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari reviewed the entire light combat aircraft programme ahead of deliveries of its upgraded version from next year onwards.
The Astra-1, which has a beyond visual range of 100-km, was test-fired from the Tejas jet at an altitude of around 20,000-feet off the coast of Goa. “All the objectives of the test were met and it was a perfect text book launch,” a DRDO official said, adding, “The state-of-the-art Astra can engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets.”
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said the launch would “significantly enhance the combat prowess” of Tejas and “reduce the dependency on imported weapons”.
The Astra-1, which flies at over four times the speed of sound at Mach 4.5, is already under production by Bharat Dynamics after the successful completion of its user trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters. The IAF has already placed an initial order for 250 Astra-1 missiles, while DRDO is developing an Astra-2 missile with a 160-km range, as earlier reported by TOI.
ACM Chaudhari described the Tejas LCA as the “flag-bearer” of the IAF’s efforts towards indigenisation of its aircraft fleet, while reviewing the project with top officials of DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics and others.

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