Bhubaneshwar, Sept 15: The Indian Air Force on Friday successfully concluded the flight trials of indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), also known as Astra. The final set of trials, marking the completion of the missile-launcher’s development phase, began four days ago off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha.

The BVRAAM was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in cooperation with the IAF. The agency also roped in nearly 50 organisations, including Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and few private firms.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the IAF and DRDO for the successful completion of the development trials.

DRDO’s General Director, Missiles and Strategic Systems, G Satheesh Reddy, claimed the technological gains made during the development of Astra would provide the building blocks for future variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

The missile launcher, following its successful trial, is expected to be inducted into the IAF shortly.

The Ministry of Defence, in its statement, praised the IAF and DRDO for the successful development of BVRAAM. “The final development flight trials of Astra BVRAAM were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha during September 11-14. A total of seven trials were conducted against pilotless target aircraft successfully,” the statement said.

The trial run of BVRAAM not only highlighted the accurate performance of the missile launcher, but also the sub-systems functioned with perfection, the Defence Ministry claimed in its statement. It further added that the final stage of trials included test-fire of multiple engagement targets, including at “very long range” and medium range.