SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (DEFENCE IDENISATION)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
- Recently, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the Hyderabad-based public-sector Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) for the supply of the Astra Mark-1 Air-to-Air-Missile.
- It will be place by the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
ASTRA MISSILE AND ITS VARIANTS:
- The Astra project was officially launch in the early 2000s.
- The development of the Mk-1 version got complete around 2017,
- Several successful tests have been conducting since 2017 from Sukhoi-30 MKIs.
KEY FEATURES OF THE ASTRA MARK-1 AIR-TO-AIR-MISSILE:
- The Astra Mk-1 is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR), Air-to-Air Missile (AAM).
- BVM missiles are capable of engaging beyond the range of 20 nautical miles or 37 kilometers.
- AAMs are firing from an airborne asset to destroy an airborne target.
- Astra Mk-1 has a range of about 110 km.
- Its Mk-2 version with arrange over 150 km is under development and the Mk-3 version with a longer range is predicting.
- One more version of Astra, with a range smaller than Mk-1, is also under development.
Designed and developed by:
- It has been developing by DRDO.
Reduction in Dependency of Foreign Sources:
- It has been designing found on requirements specified by the Indian Air Force for BVR as well as close-combat engagement, reducing the dependency on foreign sources.
- AAMs with BVR capability provide large stand-off ranges to aircraft so that they can neutralize adversary airborne assets without exposing themselves to adversary air defense to own fighter aircraft.
- Stand-off range means the missile is launch at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking side to evade defensive fire from the target.
- It is named after one of the five elements of nature.
- Agni missiles are long-range, nuclear weapons capable, surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.
- It is technologically and economically superior to many such imported missile systems.
- The missile can travel at speeds more than four times that of sound and can reach a maximum altitude of 20 km, making it extremely flexible for air combat.
Can be Integrate with other Fighter Aircraft:
- The missile is fully integrated on the Sukhoi 30 MKIIand will be integrated with other fighter aircraft in a phased manner.
- It will integrate the missile on the MiG-29K fighter aircraft which are deployed on the Navy’s aircraft carriers, thus adding to the lethality of India’s Aircraft carriers.
· The Agni missile is a family of medium to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles developed by India.
· The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and tested in 1989.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
Source: Indian Express