At a Press conference to discuss the upcoming 90th Indian Air Force Celebration Day, a small promo video showcased at the presser showed glimpses of the Astra Mk2 Beyond visual range air-to-air missile being ejected from the Su-30MKI. While the video didn’t show the missile firing up its dual-Pulse motor indicating it probably was from a dummy ejection developmental trial.

Video also showcased for the first time use of the ejector pylon for the new missile system that, unlike Astra Mk1 which uses a Rail launcher. Astra MkII features ejectors launch that is done to reduce missile being jammed in the rail launcher but also to reduce any harm to the aircraft itself. Both Astra MkII and Astra MkIII will be using ejectors launch along with Rudram-1, Rudram-2/2A, and Rudram-3 Air to Surface missiles.

Astra MkII is a next-gen air-to-air missile that uses a dual-Pulse motor to engage targets at a distance of 160km that has commenced carriage and ejection trials earlier this year and soon will also start user cum developmental trials for which Two Su-30MKI have been deployed for testing. Astra MkII will be comparable to the American AIM-120D (C8) air to air missile that has same range but will be much superior to the Chinese PL-15E (145km) that has been exported to Pakistan for its J-10 and JF-17 fleet.

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