SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to develop a new air-to-air missile that will have a range greater than the present (Astra Mk2) but will have a similar range to the air-breathing ramjet air-to-air missile (Astra Mk3 ) that is under development. Air-breathing ramjet propulsion beats traditional solid fuel in terms of range but is too costly to acquire in large numbers.
DRDO plans to develop a new air-to-air missile that has traditional solid fuel propulsion but with a wider dimension that will allow it to reach the 280km+ mark while costing half as much that could have cost for an Air-breathing ramjet propulsion BVRAAM.
DRDO already has developed Astra Mk1 with a range of 110km and Astra Mk2 with a range of 160km which is pending trials and is working on Astra Mk3, which has a range of 340km for targets such as AWACS/Tankers/FRA. Astra Mk2 uses a Dual-Pulse motor and Mk3 uses an Air-breathing ramjet propulsion motor. DRDO plans to use develop a Multi-Pulse Motor (MPM) solid-propellant rocket motor that will allow three or more pulses on a single motor to achieve such range while keeping unit cost on the lower side.
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