Astra Missile Test-Fired from Tejas in ‘Textbook Launch’

Astra Missile Test-Fired from Tejas in ‘Textbook Launch’

Astra air-to-air missile test-fired from Tejas in ‘textbook launch’


On Wednesday, Tejas, a light combat aircraft (LCA), successfully test-fired an indigenous Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile off the coast of Goa.

What are the features of Tejas ?

Overview of the aircraft

  • Indian single-engine, delta-wing, light multipurpose fighter aircraft HAL Tejas.
  • For the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) worked in conjunction with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • derived from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which was started in the 1980s to replace outdated MiG-21 fighters but ultimately joined a larger fleet modernization initiative.

 Naming and Characteristics:

  • formally known as “Tejas” in 2003.
  • classed as the smallest and lightest modern supersonic combat aircraft.
  • designed to perform at supersonic speeds.

Operational Clearances:

  •  Initial operational clearance was obtained in 2011; final operational clearance was obtained in 2019.
  • In 2016, No. 45 Squadron IAF (Flying Daggers), the first operational Tejas squadron, switched from using MiG-21s to Tejas.

What is Astra Missle and how is it different from other missiles?

  • Name and Definition: The Sanskrit term “Astra” means “throwing weapon.”
  • Type of Missile: Astra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile that operates in all weather conditions. This indicates that it is intended to engage and destroy aircraft targets at distances outside the pilot’s line of sight.
  • Development: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the top research and development agency under the Indian Ministry of Defence, is responsible for creating the Astra missile system.
  • Range: The Astra missile family’s various variants may engage targets at various ranges. These missiles have a range of between 500 meters (0.31 miles) and 340 kilometers (210 miles).
  • Integration: The Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft of the Indian Air Force have been equipped with the Astra Mk-1 missile. Future integration with other aircraft is also anticipated, such as the Mikoyan MiG-29, HAL Tejas, and Dassault Mirage 2000.