India strengthens its military arsenal with significant investment in  Astra air-to-air missiles developed by  Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)  and  DRDO.

The path to missile self-sufficiency

The  Indian Air Force has strengthened ties with  BDL  to procure the  Astra air-to-air missile, renowned for its beyond-visual range capability. This step strengthens India’s defense and symbolizes a move towards self-sufficiency in missile production.

The Astra Mk-1 missile has been successfully integrated into the  Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. With this development,  India plans to include these advanced missiles on other foreign-made fighter jets.

By the end of 2023, the first batch of domestically manufactured Astra-MK1 is scheduled to be deployed, an achievement that elevates the missile industry in the country.

Outstanding features of the Astra Mk-1

India invests $386 M in Astra missiles and strengthens its Sukhoi Su-30Russian Sukhoi Su-30

The  Astra Mk-1, with outstanding specifications, incorporates a guidance system powered by a fiber optic gyroscope and an active radar terminal guidance system. With the capacity to receive course corrections, the missile guarantees precision in its attacks.

The active radar, a collaboration with the Russian company  Concern Morinformsystem-Agat, and electronic countermeasures ensure its effectiveness even in the face of enemy jamming attempts. Its design includes an explosive warhead and a powerful motor that allows it to reach impressive speeds and operate at high altitudes.

This missile can engage moving targets at considerable ranges, making it a formidable addition to  India‘s defensive arsenal.

Astra series previews and projections

India invests $386 M in Astra missiles and strengthens its Sukhoi Su-30Russian Su-30 fighter

While the  Astra Mk-1  is already proving to be an effective combat tool,  India is already working on developing the  Astra-MK2  with greater ranges. This commitment to innovation also contemplates a possible  Astra-MK3  with an even more extended range.

In September 2017, the  Astra missile completed its final tests and was given the green light for production at  Bhanur, Telangana. Additionally, orders have been placed to equip platforms such as the  Sukhoi Su-30MKI,  HAL Tejas and  MiG-29/MiG-29K.

The recent contract with  BDL to produce more units of the  Astra Mk-1 highlights India‘s goal of progressively replacing Russian-origin missiles with indigenous technology.