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The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has embarked on a crucial phase of trials for the Astra MkII Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). Carriage trials and testing of the Dual Pulse rocket motor, a key component of the missile’s propulsion system have been completed.

As part of the ongoing development process, nearly ten units of the Astra MkII BVRAAM are currently under fabrication to be utilized for full-scale developmental trials. These trials are scheduled to commence soon, and efforts are being made to optimize the missile’s performance further through software and hardware upgrades. By fine-tuning various aspects of the missile, DRDO aims to extend its range beyond the already impressive 160km.

DRDO is also conducting studies to explore flight profile modifications that could enhance the range of the Astra MkII BVRAAM. The exact details of the range and propulsion systems remain classified, DRDO is looking to squeeze in more range than what it advertised.

Last year, the Indian Air Force released a video showcasing the weapon-release phase of the Astra Mk2 missile system. The footage depicted the successful ejection and separation of the missile from the ejector system. The Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft has been modified to serve as a testbed for the missile system’s trials, underscoring the integration efforts between the missile and the aircraft platform.

The Astra MkII BVRAAM is poised to play a pivotal role in bolstering India’s air defence capabilities. With its extended range and advanced features, the missile is designed to engage and neutralize targets with precision and efficiency. By enhancing India’s stand-off capabilities, the Astra MkII BVRAAM will significantly augment the Indian Air Force’s operational effectiveness in various tactical scenarios.

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