The Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighters are on their way to get some Indian teeth. One of the jets successfully launched an Astra, India’s first indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile against a simulated air target.
The project is run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation with much of the work done by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). New Delhi hopes not only to give the Sukhoi jets more capabilities, but also to show that India is self-reliant. The test was done by an Flanker launched from Chandipur, in the Odisha region, on 19 March 2015. HAL designs, modifies and integrates the missile in the Russian aircraft’s navigation, aiming and weapon systems. It also developped the flight test sensors, metering and monitoring systems.
This month’s test was not the first launch of the Astra. A basic live launch was already done on 4 May 2014. Although the Astra project is years behind schedule, HAL still hopes to equip not only the India’s Su-30MKIs with the weapon, but also the new HAL Tejas light combat jet, as well as the Dassault Mirage 2000s and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29s.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by HAL
Featured image: An Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fires the Astra in a successful test against an simulated aerial target on 19 March 2015 (Image © Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)