(Photograph courtesy DRDO)
The Astra air-to-air missile being test fired from a ground-based launch platform on 13th Sept 08.
The DRDO has announced a successful test of the Astra missile, which is being developed by the Defence R&D Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad. A DRDO release says:
"DRDO has successfully conducted two flight tests of Astra beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile on 13 and 14 Sept 2008 from Interim Test Range, Balasore as part of second phase of missile development flight trials. The missiles were launched from a Ground launcher. The main objective of these flight tests were to test mid course guidance of missiles towards manoeuvring target Aircraft using secured data link. Simulated aircraft flight parameters were used for these flight tests. All missile systems comprising of launcher, propulsion, Airframe, mission computer, navigation system, autopilot , flight control system, data link and telemetry system have worked satisfactory and as per design.
The team led by Shri Venugopalan, Director, DRDL, Hyderabad, Dr Gollakota, Project Director, Astra, Shri SP Dash, Director, ITR, Balasore, project team and representatives of participating Industry participated successful launch of Astra conducted at Chandipore test range."