The State-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has confirmed the conclusion of the carriage and separation trials of the Astra Mk3 Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile that has a maximum range of 340km and now DRDO is preparing to assemble a fully integrated missile that could be used for the first developmental trials sometime in mid of next year.

Astra Mk3 FT-01 and FT-02 missiles were used for separation trials that took place sometime earlier this year from the frontline Su-30MKI jets. Astra Mk3 will have the same length and dimension as the Meteor missile but will weigh 218kg which is 28kg more than the Meteor missile in its class.

Astra Mk3 will have a top speed of Mach 3.6 and an Interception range of 190km at 8km altitude and 340 km at 20km altitude along with a No Escape Zone (NEZ) in three digits. Astra Mk3 is the first air-to-air missile from India’s Astra missile family to be equipped with Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet propulsion that was jointly developed with Russia.

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