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India has issued a new Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for a designated area off its eastern coast, potentially indicating a missile test scheduled between December 26 and December 29, 2023.

The NOTAM covers an area of 80×80 kilometers, hinting at the possibility of two potential tests:

  • Surface-to-air defence missile system test: This could involve testing a new or upgraded air defense system designed to intercept incoming missiles and aircraft.
  • Astra Mk1 Air-to-Air missile test: This could be part of the planned test firing of the Astra Mk1 missile, a domestically developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, as part of its induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The NOTAM’s timing coincides with the planned delivery of a new batch of Astra Mk1 missiles by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to the IAF. This further strengthens the possibility of an Astra Mk1 test being conducted. The Astra Mk1 is an indigenous, all-weather, beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by BDL.

With a range exceeding 100 kilometers, the Astra Mk1 significantly enhances the IAF’s air combat capabilities.

While the NOTAM indicates a potential missile test, the exact type of missile being tested remains unknown. Official confirmation from the Indian government or defense authorities is awaited for further details.

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