Indian Air Force promotional footage shows an Astra Mk.II launched a Brahmos missile with a range of 450 kilometers from a Su-30 MKI fighter. The Indian Air Force is also planning to arm more Su-30 MKIs.
To celebrate its 90th Air Force Day on October 8, the Indian Air Force (IAF) published a promotional clip showing an Astra Mk-II beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) being fired from a Su-30 MKI fighter.
This video shows the initial launch of the second Astra BVRAAM missile in the series.
According to an earlier report, the 160-km Astra Mk-II was supposed to be tested in May 2022. But no official confirmation existed at the time.
On the integrated test range in Balasore, Odisha, the missile was apparently also being prepared for testing from a land launcher, according to a report from February 2021.
Astra Mk II
According to reports, the Astra-II missile can go 160 kilometers. The missile’s technical specifications are not well known. However, the Astra IR (80 km range), Astra-1, Astra-II, and the next Astra-III missile share a common ejector launcher called the “Astra launcher,” which was previously tested in conjunction with the Astra-II missile, according to photographs made available by the IAF.
The Astra Mk.2 travels using a dual-thrust pulsed rocket motor. It has a range of 160 kilometers and a flight ceiling of 20 kilometers.
According to reports, the Astra Mark-II missile could include an indigenous seeker and increased jammer resistance. A dual-pulse rocket motor has been put into the missile to improve its range and performance. During the missile’s kill phase, the motor improves its kinematics.
The IAF will arm more Sukhoi-30MKI planes with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, whose range has been extended from 290 to 450 km. A blueprint is also being prepared to modernize all 260 Russian-origin fighters in the combat fleet.
IAF wants to send another 20 to 25 jets to Hindustan Aeronautics to make the structural, electrical, mechanical, and software changes necessary to carry the 2.5-tonne BrahMos missile, which was successfully tested by a Sukhoi-30MKI jet in the Bay of Bengal in May. (HAL).
These Sukhois will be added to the first 40 aircraft designated for BrahMos weapons. According to a source, HAL has returned 35 of the first 40 Sukhois with the 290-km BrahMos to the IAF.
IAF considers the combination of Sukhois, which have a combat radius of about 1,500 km without mid-air refueling, and conventional (non-nuclear) BrahMos missiles with a range of 450 km to be a lethal and strategic package of weapons.
These air-to-ground BrahMos missiles can deliver accurate strikes against high-value military targets, underground nuclear bunkers, command and control centers on land, aircraft carriers, and other warships at sea.
Army, Navy, and IAF have signed contracts for over Rs 38,000 crore for BrahMos missiles, which fly at Mach 2.8. An 800-km variant is also in the works.
The Vice Chief of IAF made it clear that we have the capabilities to integrate sensors and weapons into Su-30 MKI without RUSSIA’s assistance. HAL has needed software, hardware, and other tools to accomplish this. ASTRA and BRAHMOS have been integrated without any outside assistance.