Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) LSP-7 has successfully fired the ASTRA indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air Missile. The Maiden flight was Piloted by Gp. Capt D Mandal and the Missile release was successfully carried out from the aircraft at an altitude of about 20000 ft off the Coast of Goa.
The test launch was monitored by Gp Capt B Balaji , Test Director and Scientists of ADA, HAL, DRDO along with officials from CEMILAC and DG AQA. The aircraft was also monitored by a Chase Tejas twin seater aircraft piloted by Wg Cdr Siddarth Singh KMJ (Retd), Flight Test Pilot and Wg Cdr KP Kiran Kumar, Flight Test Engineer. During hot debrief, Pilot commented that all the objectives of the tests were met and it was the perfect text book launch.
ASTRA is the state–of-the-art Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air-to-Air Missile designed and developed by DRDL along with RCI (DRDO) to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets.
ADA officials stated that the successful launch of ASTRA from Tejas fighter would significantly enhance the Combat Prowess of Tejas and reduce the dependency on imported weapons. The indigenous Astra BVR firing from home grown Tejas fighter is a major step towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Further launches are planned in next few months toverify the performance, sources said.
Dr. Samir V Kamat, Secretary Dep. Defence (R&D) and Chairman-DRDO, while congratulating the team has mentioned that the successful launch of ASTRA from Tejas is the culmination of a team effort of DRDO, ADA, HAL, CEMILAC, DG–AQA and many other Public and Private entities in the country.