India declares air-to-air missile test successful

The "Astra" missile, developed for the Indian air force, can be fired from a fighter aircraft without being detected by radar.

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March 25, 2007 16:50
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India on Sunday successfully tested an indigenously developed air-to-air missile with a range of up to 80 kilometers, a defense ministry official said. The missile, "Astra" (Weapon), is being developed for the Indian air force and it can be fired from a fighter aircraft without being detected by radar, the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters. Sunday's test was carried out from Chandipur range, nearly 270 kilometers (167.78 miles) from Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state. India and longtime rival Pakistan regularly test-fire missiles, but normally only give each other notice for long-range launches. It was not immediately clear whether India informed neighboring Pakistan, also a declared nuclear power, ahead of Sunday's test. India's homegrown missile arsenal already includes the short-range "Prithvi" (Earth) ballistic missile, the medium-range "Akash" (Sky), the long-range "Agni" (Fire), the anti-tank "Nag" (Cobra) and the supersonic Brahmos missile, developed jointly with Russia. The "Astra" air-to-air missile was first tested three years ago, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

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