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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to begin testing of the Mark-2 version of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air -to- Air missile with a range of 160km in the first half of the next year as per Indian media reports. According to informed sources close to idrw.org, Astra Mk-2 will be slightly longer and will have a Dual Pulse motor to extract a longer range of 160km from the missile that will be 60-80km more than the previous variant.

Astra Mk1 has demonstrated capabilities similar to the American AIM-120C5 AMRAAM in trials and has demonstrated a similar max range too, Astra Mk2 will be built around capabilities of the AIM-120D aka C8 that is far superior to the C5 capabilities along with a range of 160-180 km. Astra Mk2 will come with improved High-Angle Off-Boresight, Improved Jammer resistance with Dual-Pulse motor for an increased sustained range that will also carry an expanded no-escape envelope for the missile.

SFDR aka Astra Mk3 will have a range from 70-340 km in the power ‘ ON’ Mode that will come with Air-breathing ramjet propulsion technology, similar technology is seen on long-range Meteor beyond visual range Air -to- Air missile in recently inducted Dassault Rafale fighter jets , while Astra Mk2 will be based on conventional Dual-Pulse motor with thrust vectoring control.

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