DRDO to double ASTRA’s range
The DRDO Chief, Mr G Sateesh Reddy recently announced that DRDO (Defence Research Development Organization) is to increase the range of ASTRA air-to-air missiles. India is one of the few countries to own a successful BMD-Ballistic Missile Defence programme.
Astra (Sanskrit word for weapon) is an all-weather air-to-air missile developed completely by DRDO. Currently, ASTRA is capable of engaging targets upto a distance of 110 km. The ASTRA missiles are integrated with Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts of India.
Now, DRDO plans to increase the range of the missile to 160 km. Apart from this, it is also planning to infuse technologies like solid fuel ramjet and dual pulse solid rocket motor. There are also plans to integrate the missiles with other aircrafts like Dassault, MiG-29, HAL Tejas.
Ballistic Missile Defence Programme
The BMD is an initiative to develop multi-layered defence systems to protect India from missile attacks. The programme was introduced in the light of threats from China and Pakistan. Prithvi and Ashwin are the two most successful BMD missiles developed under the programme.