Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Indian Express News Service; published Mar 17, 2015)
Technical Glitches: Astra Test-Fire Fails
BALASORE, India --- A fresh trial of beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) Astra was deferred on Monday, reportedly due to a technical snag. The missile could not be launched though an unmanned aerial vehicle which was to be used as a target for the missile was flown from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast.
Defence sources said the missile was initially planned to be tested on March 12, but was rescheduled for Monday. A defence official associated with the mission said though the pilotless target aircraft was flown as per schedule, the missile could not be fired due to technical glitches in the system.
ITR Director MVKV Prasad said there was a possibility of the trial on Tuesday or Wednesday. As part of induction phase trials, the test was aimed at checking the control system and its stability which would have propelled its quick induction into the Armed Forces.
However, it is not for the first time that the missile has developed problem. In 2011, it had failed twice, but in 2012 and 2014, a series of developmental tests, captive flights and trials from fighter aircrafts was successful.
The indigenously developed Astra is designed for an 80-km range in head-on mode and 20 km-range in tail-chase mode.