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Indian Navy to acquire ASTRA Mk I BVR Air to Air Missile System.

| 2022

According to information published by the Indian government on June 2, 2022, MoD signs over Rs 2,900 crore contract with BDL for procurement of ASTRA Mk I Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile System & Associated Equipment for Indian Air Force & Indian Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Astra Mk-I air-to-air missile (Picture source: DRDO)

In a major boost to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Ministry of Defence, on May 31, 2022, signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for the supply of ASTRA MK-I Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Air to Air Missile (AAM) and associated equipment for the Indian Air Force & Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 2,971 crore under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

Till now, the technology to manufacture missile of this class indigenously was not available. ASTRA MK-I BVR AAM has been Indigenously Designed & Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) based on the Staff Requirements issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) catering for Beyond Visual Range as well as Close Combat Engagement reducing the dependency on foreign sources.

Air to Air missile with BVR capability provides large Stand-Off Ranges to own fighter aircraft which can neutralise the adversary aircraft without exposing itself to adversary Air Defence measures, thereby gaining & sustaining superiority of the Air Space. This missile is technologically and economically superior to many such imported missile systems.

ASTRA MK-I missile and all associated systems for its launch, ground handling & testing has been developed by DRDO in coordination with the IAF. The missile, for which successful trials have already been undertaken by the IAF, is fully integrated on the Su 30 MK-I fighter aircraft & will be integrated with other fighter aircraft in a phased manner, including the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas). The Indian Navy will integrate the missile on the MiG 29K fighter aircraft.

About Mikoyan MiG-29K fighter aircraft

The MiG-29K/KUB ship-based multipurpose fighter jets are designed to defend ship groups from air attacks, gain air supremacy, and deliver strikes against ground and sea targets using precision-guided weapons in any weather conditions.

The MiG-29K/KUB fighter jet can reach more than 2,000 km/h (1,243 mph) and fly to a distance of 1,500 km (932 mi). MiG-29K/KUB fighters are the main shipborne aircraft of the Indian Navy.

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