India indigenous air to air missile Astra proves anti-jamming capability
A crucial capability of the air-to-air Astra missile —its resistance to jamming — was successfully validated in recent trials conducted by missile scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which indigenously developed the compact missile.
After carrying out some more trials, including air launch trial with a warhead, the Beyond-Visual Range missile is set to be inducted into the Air Force next year, DRDO sources told The Hinduhere on Friday.
During the recent ground and air trials conducted near Pune, the missile’s RF seeker and other electronic components were sought to be jammed to see how it performs in such a scenario at the time of war when the enemy tries to jam its operation. The ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming were evaluated. “The trials were vigorous. But the state-of-the-art missile did very well,” said the sources.
While several developmental trials, including captive flight mode, were already completed, next month’s tests would evaluate its performance in different scenarios and cover the entire air launch envelope required before its induction.
The all-weather, radar homing missile has high manoeuvrability and capability to engage and destroy aerial targets at supersonic speeds. The 60-km plus range missile possesses Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) making it one of the most reliable in its class of weapon systems.
The missile could be launched at different altitudes from sea level to 20 km for engaging aerial targets at various ranges.
Apart from integrating the missile with Su-30, it is planned to be mounted on other fighter aircraft including Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, Mirage-2000 and MIG-29.
The missile complex at Hyderabad and several DRDO laboratories in partnership with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Indian Air Force developed Astra.
The sources said the DRDO was planning to develop different versions of longer range air-launch missiles as the missile scientists now got a handle on air-to-air missile technology.