On the first anniversary of the Balakot airstrikes, on Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria speaking to NDTV confirmed that the indigenously developed Astra Mk1 beyond visual range air to air missile (BVRAAM) which has been cleared for production matches in range and performance when compared to the AIM-120C-5 BVRAAMs of the PAF.

Astra has a range of 110km against bigger targets in the head of chase and has a range of 75 against maneuverable targets like fighter jets which makes it fall in the same category as AIM-120C-5 BVRAAMs acquired by PAF for its F-16 fleet. Bhadauria also confirmed that the Astra integration priority has been given to the entire Su-30MKI fleet after successful demonstration of the missile in real-world configuration against all possible scenarios including the day after Balakot airstrikes as per sources close to

Su-30MKI which were armed with R-77 BVRAAMs didn’t get firing confirmation due to being out of range of the missile system which allowed PAF F-16s advantage to fire 4-5 AMRAAMs at lone Su-30 fighter jet which survived AAMs after carrying out aggressive maneuvers.

AIM-120C-5 has a range of 105km against Larger targets and has an effective range of 60km against fighter jets and a no escape kill zone of 15-20km this is where Mig-21Bis was shot down when it crossed LOC in Hot Pursuit.


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