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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

India’s first locally developed, Astra Mk1 Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile has gone operational in Indian Air Force (IAF) in limited numbers was confirmed by Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, after months of media speculation about IAF getting the first batch of 50 Limited Serial produced Astra Mk1 that was ordered by IAF, has now confirmed it and also it now operational which clears it to be equipped to be carried by the frontline Sukhoi-30MKI jets.

IAF and Indian Navy have recently, also placed orders for 250 more Astra Mk1 BVRAAMs. Production constraints is been addressed at a rapid pace as more and more jets will be enabled to be equipped with Astra Mk1 BVRAAMs in near future. Tejas Mk1A and Mig-29K/Mig-29UPG are next in line with the later Mirage-2000 fleet also to get Astra Mk1 BVRAAMs.

idrw.org has been told, Su-30MKI Squadrons deployed all over India will be receiving in Phases, must require software upgrades for integration between the missile with the Fire Control Radar (FCR) and the Mission Control computer (MC) onboard each Su-30MKI by HAL Engineers in next few months so that pilots can be trained and practice to use new BVRAAM Training rounds before next batch of AAMs starts arriving.

Astra Mk1 BVRAAM is, found to be equivalent to the Framed American AIM-120C5 AMRAAM in terms of range and capacities. India’s DRDO is also working on Astra Mk2 with double the range, and with better Electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) that will put it into the same league as American AIM-120D (originally designated AIM-120C8).

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