SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
In a significant boost to India’s air defense capabilities, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to receive fresh batches of the Astra Mk1 beyond visual range air-to-air missiles from the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) later this year. This procurement is part of an order worth Rs 2,971 crore placed by the Ministry of Defence in 2022, aimed at enhancing the IAF’s combat capabilities.
BDL has already obtained Bulk Production Clearance for manufacturing the Astra Mk1 missiles from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC). As a result, the IAF is poised to complete proof firing and induction of these advanced missiles in the current financial year.
The Astra Mk1 missile is a formidable addition to India’s air defense arsenal. With an impressive range of approximately 110 kilometers and a top speed of Mach 4.5, it boasts the capability to engage and neutralize aerial threats at significant distances. What sets the Astra Mk1 apart is its cost-effectiveness, with each missile carrying a price tag of approximately Rs 7-8 crores, making it economically superior to many similar missile systems developed elsewhere.
One of the key objectives behind the Astra Mk1 missile program is to reduce India’s reliance on foreign-made missiles. The plan includes integrating these indigenous missiles onto the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Tejas and MiG-29 fighter platforms. This move aligns with India’s broader strategy of achieving self-reliance in defense production and technology.
The Astra Mk1 missile’s advanced capabilities make it a valuable asset for the IAF, enhancing its ability to defend the nation’s airspace and respond effectively to potential threats. The successful development and production of these missiles by Bharat Dynamics Limited represent a significant step forward in India’s quest for self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing.
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