India’s new Astra Mk-2 Missile – Everything you want to know

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently completed testing of the Astra Mk-2 missile in April-end 2022.

The missile is now expected to enter limited series production soon. Once inducted, the missile will contribute significantly to the IAF’s air dominance.

Here are five interesting facts about this missile you might not know about:

#FACT 1 – Astra Mk-2 missile is a next-generation air-to-air missile having a dual pulse solid rocket motor to strike at up to 160 kilometers.

#FACT 2 – The missile has a slightly larger diameter of 190 mm compared to the Mk1’s 178 mm, but with the same overall length as Astra Mk-1 which is 3.6 m (12 ft).

Further, the larger diameter of the missile allows for more fuel to be carried, which means that it will have a longer range.

The missile is also fitted with two pulses that will further increase its range.

#FACT 3 – It is navigated by an inertial mid-course update and terminal active radar homing system.

The benefit of navigation via such a guidance system is accurate tracking and superior resistance to the enemies’ electronic countermeasures.

Moreover, it allows the missile to remain autonomous, meaning the missile does not require further guidance to track its target. This is referred to as fire and forget.

#FACT -4 The Astra Mark-2 missile flies four times faster than the speed of sound.

#FACT -5 This missile can hit all weather, day and night all the time.

#FACT -6 The unit cost of the missile is likely to be in the range of 8 – 10 Crores approx. (above USD 1 Million).

#FACT -7 The new missile will have improved jammer resistance and an indigenous AESA radar seeker manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

#FACT – 8 The Astra MK-2 to be fielded on Indian Air Force’s fighter jets including the Su-30 MKI, LCA Mk1A, Mirage 2000, and Mig-29.

#FACT – 9 The development of the Astra Mk-2 missile is being built in response to China and Pakistan who operate the PL-15 missile.

Source: Open Sources & Compiled by