Astra (missile)

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Astra
AstraMk1Missile.jpg
Astra missile on static display
TeepAir-tae-air missile
Place o oreeginIndie
Production history
DesignerDRDO
ManufacturerBharat Dynamics Limitit
Produced2017–present
Specifications
Wecht154 kg (340 lb)
Lenth3.57 m (11.7 ft)
Diameter178 mm (7.0 in)
WarheidHeich-explosive pre-fragmentit warheid
Warheid wecht15 kg (33 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
Radar proximity fuse

PropellantSolit
Operational
range
80–110 km (50–68 mi) in head-on chase and 20 km (12 mi) in tail chase
Flicht ceilin20 km (66,000 ft)
SpeedMach 4.5
Guidance
system
Inertial, mid-course update and terminal active radar homing
Launch
platform
Su-30MKI

Astra (Sanskrit: wappen[1]) is an aw weather beyond-veesual-range air-tae-air missile developit bi the Defence Research an Development Organisation, Indie. It is the first air-tae-air missile developed by Indie. It features mid-coorse inertial guidance with terminal active radar homing.[2] Astra is designed tae be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allouin for engagement of baith short-range targets at a distance of 20 km (12 mi) and long-range targets up tae a distance of 80 km (50 mi).[3] Astra haes been integratit wi Indie Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI and will be integratit with Dassault Mirage 2000 and Mikoyan MiG-29 in the future. Limitit series production of Astra missiles began in 2017.[4][5]

Development[eedit | eedit soorce]

Preliminary work on Astra haed begun bi 1990 with the completion of a pre-feasibility study.[6] Astra wis revealed tae the public for the first time at Aero Indie 1998.[7] It wis describit as an elongatit Matra Super 530D with a smawer diameter in front of the weengs.[8] The project taw develop Astra missile wis offeecially sanctioned in 2004 with a budget of ₹955 crore (Template:INRConvert/inflation).[9] The project wis tae be led by Defence Research an Development Laboratory with assistance frae Hindustan Aeronautics Limitit and Electronics Corporation o Indie Limitit.[10] The initial version of Astra reportitly weighed 300 kg (660 lb) with a range of 25–40 km (16–25 mi) and wis planned tae be integratit with HAL Tejas. It wis testot for the first time in Mey 2003.[11]

The missile wis redesigned aroond 2006 due tae control issues and performance deficiencies at heich altitude. The initial design of fower cruciform short-span long-chord weengs were replaced by cropped delta weengs placed near the nose. The redesigned missile haed an impruived propulsion seestem and wiss testit for the first time in 2008.[12] By 2013, the missile haed been redesigned again in response tae multiple failures caused by adverse interactions between flicht control surfaces.[13] The control, guidance, and propulsion seestems were awso reconfigured.[14] Efter the seicont redesign, the missile wis lichter than the initial version by around 130 kg (290 lb). It wis testit frae the grund thrice in Dizember 2012 and captive trials frae a Sukhoi Su-30MKI were held in Eprel 2013.[15][13] Astra completit final development trials in September 2017 and wis cleared for production at Bharat Dynamics Limitit's manufacturing faceelity in Bhanur, Telangana for an initial order of 50 missiles.[16][4]

Future development[eedit | eedit soorce]

DRDO plans tae develop a Mk 2 variant of Astra with a lairger engagement envelope and a range of 100 km (62 mi). Multiple different propulsion seestems haeve been conseedert, including liquid-fuel ramjet, solid-fuel ramjet and dual pulse solid rocket motor.[3][12]

Description[eedit | eedit soorce]

Astra, fired by a Sukhoi Su-30MKI

Astra's design resembles Matra Super 530D and Vympel R-77 in a few aspects.[3] Astra is 3.6 m (12 ft) lang with a diameter of 178 mm (7.0 in) and weighs 154 kg (340 lb). It uises an inertial guidance seestem driven by a fibre optic gyroscope with terminal guidance through active radar homing. It is capable of receiving coorse corrections through a secure data link. The missile's active radar seeker with a homing range of 25 km (16 mi) is supplied by Agat and will be manufactured locally.[17] The seeker can lock-on tae a target with a radar cross section of 5 square metres frae a distance of 15 km and enables off-boresight launches up tae an angle of 45°.[18] Some tests haeve been conductit in 2017 and 2018 uising an indigenous seeker developit bi Research Centre Imarat.[19][20][21]

Astra is equipped with electronic coonter-coontermeasures tae allou operation even during enemy attempts tae jam the seeker uising electronic coontermeasures. It cairies a 15 kg (33 lb) heich explosive pre-fragmentit warheid activatit by a proxeemity fuse.[17] Astra uises a smokeless solit fuelled motor that can propel the missile tae a speed of Mach 4.5 and allous operation frae a maximum altitude of 20 km (66,000 ft).[22][17] The maximum range of Astra is 110 km (68 mi) in heid-on chase mode and 20 km (12 mi) in tail chase mode.[16] The maximum range is achieved when the missile launched frae an altitude of 15 km (49,000 ft). When it is fired frae an altitude of 8 km (26,000 ft), the range drops tae 44 km (27 mi) and when it is launched frae sea level, the range drops further tae 21 km (13 mi).[23] Astra's low aspect ratio weengs allou it tae engage manoeuvring targets up tae a range of 80 km (50 mi) in head-on chase mode and 20 km (12 mi) in tail chase mode.[17] It can be launched in baith autonomous and buddy mode operation and can lock on tae its target afore or efter it is launched.[24]

Trials[eedit | eedit soorce]

The initial version of Astra being tested frae a grund-based launcher. Note the short-span long-chord weengs and a narrower body near the nose.
Freemit images
A model of the first redesign of Astra shown at Aero India 2011 under the name Astra Mk II. Note the redesign of weengs tae a cropped delta and thair forward placement.

Astra went through a series of grund tests frae 2003 till 2012 in three different configurations tae validate the airframe, propulsion seestem, control seestem, dual mode guidance and night firing capabeelity. Cairiage trials were cairied oot in 2009 and 2013 on Sukhoi Su-30MKI.[25][26] In Mey 2014, it wis fired for the first time in air.[27] On 18 Mairch 2016, the missile wis fired in public during Iron Fist 2016 exercise frae a Sukhoi Su-30MKI.[28] During a series of seiven tests in September 2017, Astra was tested twice with an indigenous seeker.[20]

Date Teep o test Result Comments Ref.
9 Mey 2003 Grund test Success First test [29]
11 Mey 2003 Grund test Success [30]
12 Mey 2003 Grund test Success [31]
25 Mairch 2007 Grund test Success Propulsion test [31][32]
26 Mairch 2007 Grund test Success Propulsion test [33]
29 Mairch 2007 Grund test Success Control system test [33]
13 September 2008 Grund test Success Avionics and guidance test [34]
8 Mey 2009 Grund test Success Dual-mode guidance test [35]
11 Januar 2010 Grund test Success Testit twice [36]
6 Julie 2010 Grund test Success Night trial [37]
7 Julie 2010 Grund test Success [38]
20 Met 2011 Grund test Failure Propulsion and aerodynamics test [39][40]
21 May 2011 Grund test Failure Test claimed as successful by DRDO [41][40]
21 Dizember 2012 Grund test Success Testing of seicont redesign [15][23]
22 Dizember 2012 Grund test Success [42]
24 Dizembee 2012 Grund test Success [15]
4 Mey 2014 Flicht test Success First airborne test firing [27]
9 Juin 2014 Flicht test Success [43]
20 Juin 2014 Flicht test Success Fired at a simulatit target 65 km away [43]
16 Mairch 2015 Grund test Failure Failed tae launch [40]
19 Mairch 2015 Flight test Success Testit against a live target [44]
20 Mey 2015 Flicht test Success Tested twice for high-g release [45]
21 Mey 2015 Flight test Success [22]
Dizember 2015 Grund test Success ECCM test [46][47]
25 Dizember 2015 Flicht test Success ECCM test [46][47]
7 Dizember 2016 Flicht test Failure Missile lost veloceety and veered off the intendit trajectory [48]
11–14 September 2017 Flicht test Success Testit seeven times [49]
26 September – 3 October 2018 Flicht test Success Pre-induction tests, testit sax times [21][50]


References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "India tests air-to-air Astra missile again". Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 26 March 2007 – via NewsBank. 
  2. Pandit, Rajat (5 May 2014). "First successful Astra test gives boost to air missile technology". The Times of India. The Times Group. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Udoshi, Rahul (6 May 2014). "India successfully tests home-grown Astra AAM". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's Information Group. Archived frae the oreeginal on 17 May 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named janes-6sep17
  5. Rout, Hemant Kumar (31 August 2017). "Indian Air Force likely to start trials of Astra missile from today". The New Indian Express. Express Publications (Madurai). 
  6. Beech, Eric (2–8 May 1990). "India researches air-to-air missile" (PDF). Flight International. Vol. 137 no. 4214. Reed Business Information. p. 15. ISSN 0015-3710. 
  7. Gethin, Howard (16–22 December 1998). "India unveils Astra but keeps wraps on LCA" (PDF). Flight International. Reed Business Information. 
  8. "Astra test may be delayed". The Times of India. The Times Group. 6 April 2002. 
  9. Pandit, Rajat (6 November 2015). "10 years in making, Astra advanced air combat missile may be ready in 2016". The Times of India. The Times Group. 
  10. M. Somasekhar (17 June 2004). "DRDL to develop Astra missile". The Hindu Business Line. The Hindu Group. 
  11. T. S. Subramanian (24 May – 6 June 2003). "An Astra in the armoury". Frontline. Vol. 20 no. 11. The Hindu Group. ISSN 0970-1710. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hewson, Robert (April 2011). "Astra redesign paves way for ramjet AAM". Jane's Missiles and Rockets. Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. 15 (4): 3. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pandit, Rajat (1 July 2013). "Long-delayed Astra missile will finally be test-fired". The Times of India. The Times Group. 
  14. Richardson, Doug (1 February 2017). "Redesigned Astra completes three ground launches". IHS Jane's Missiles and Rockets. Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. 17 (2). 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Third Astra launch too a success". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. 25 December 2012. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 M. Somasekhar (18 September 2017). "After successful development trials, Astra missile ready for production". The Hindu Business Line (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Majumdar, Sayan (September–October 2015). "Astra – The Spear for Air Dominance" (PDF). Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review. No. 5. Society for Aerospace Studies. pp. 56–57. 
  18. Richardson, Doug (1 April 2017). "India's Astra uses an AGAT seeker". IHS Jane's Missiles and Rockets. Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. 17 (4). 
  19. Reddy, U. Sudhakar (16 September 2017). "Final trials of air-to-air missile Astra successful". Deccan Chronicle (in Inglis). 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Forty first report of the Standing Committee on Defence (2017–2018)" (PDF). New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat. March 2018. p. 59. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Indigenously developed air-to-air missile Astra successfully test fired". Hindustan Times (in Inglis). HT Media. Press Trust of India. 26 September 2018. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named thehindu-22may15
  23. 23.0 23.1 Y. Mallikarjun; T. S. Subramanian (22 December 2012). "Astra missile test-fired successfully". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. 
  24. Jha, Saurav (26 October 2013). "DRDO's international coming out party in Seoul features new Pragati tactical missile system". IBNLive. Archived frae the oreeginal on 29 October 2013. 
  25. Tur, Jatinder Kaur (6 December 2013). "'Astra' carriage trials with Su-30 begins". The Times of India. The Times Group. 
  26. Sharma, Ravi (1 November 2009). "Captive flight trials of Astra missile carried out". The Hindu. Chennai, India: The Hindu Group. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Y. Mallikarjun (4 May 2014). "Astra successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  28. Chopra, Anil (19 March 2016). "Iron Fist 2016: Indian Air Force's greatest show of air power". Daily News and Analysis. 
  29. "Missile Astra successfully test-fired". The Times of India. The Times Group. Press Trust of India. 9 May 2003. 
  30. "Astra successfully test-fired for second time". Rediff.com. Press Trust of India. 11 May 2003. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Astra missile test fired from Chandipur". The Hindu. Chennai, India: The Hindu Group. Press Trust of India. 25 March 2007. Archived frae the oreeginal on 30 September 2007. 
  32. "`Astra' test-fired". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. Press Trust of India. 26 March 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  33. 33.0 33.1 "Astra's third flight successful". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. 30 March 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  34. Y. Mallikarjun (14 September 2008). "Air-to-air missile Astra test-fired successfully". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  35. Y. Mallikarjun (8 May 2009). "Astra missile test-fired". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  36. Y. Mallikarjun (11 January 2010). "Two Astra missiles flight-tested successfully". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  37. "Air-to-air missile Astra successfully test-fired". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 6 July 2010. 
  38. "Astra test-fired for second consecutive day". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. Press Trust of India. 7 July 2010. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  39. "Astra ballistic flight test carried out". The Times of India. The Times Group. Press Trust of India. 20 May 2011. 
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 "Astra Missile Test-fire Fails". The New Indian Express. Express Publications (Madurai). 17 March 2015. 
  41. "Astra successfully test-fired for second day". The Times of India. The Times Group. Press Trust of India. 21 May 2011. 
  42. "Astra bang on target again". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. 23 December 2012. 
  43. 43.0 43.1 Y. Mallikarjun (21 June 2014). "Another Astra test-fire successful". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  44. "India Successfully Test Fires Air-to-Air Astra Missile". The New Indian Express. Express Publications (Madurai). 19 March 2015. 
  45. Y. Mallikarjun (20 May 2015). "Astra missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  46. 46.0 46.1 Y. Mallikarjun (26 December 2015). "Astra missile proves anti-jamming capability". The Hindu (in Inglis). The Hindu Group. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  47. 47.0 47.1 Nune, Shravan (28 December 2015). "Indigenously developed Air-to-Air missile Astra successfully test fired". Jagran Josh. 
  48. Rout, Hemant Kumar (8 December 2016). "'Astra' goes up in smoke". The New Indian Express. Express Publications (Madurai). 
  49. "Astra missile's final development flight trials successful". The Economic Times. The Times Group. Press Trust of India. 15 September 2017. 
  50. "Indigenously developed air-to-air missile Astra successfully test fired". Financial Express (in Inglis). Indian Express Limited. 3 October 2018. 

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