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Indian MoD orders Astra BVRAAM from BDL

BDL has secured a contract to supply Astra Mk I BVRAAM and associated systems to the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The Astra Mk I is in service and the latest order marks the beginning of serial production. (Janes/Rahul Udoshi)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a deal with state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to acquire an unspecified number of Astra Mk I beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs).

BDL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 31 May that the contract is worth INR29.71 billion (USD383 million), with the missiles to be supplied to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy.

In a statement published by the government's Press Information Bureau (PIB), the MoD said the Astra Mk I missile – designed and developed by India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – is being procured under the β€˜Buy (Indian – Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM))' category.

The Astra Mk I missile and all associated systems such as launch units, ground handling, and testing units are developed based on IAF requirements, the MoD said. β€œ[Until] now, the technology to manufacture missiles of this class indigenously was not available,” it added.

The missile has been tested and integrated on the IAF Su-30MKI fighter aircraft and will be fitted to other combat platforms in a phased manner, including the IAF's Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) and the Indian Navy's MiG-29K.

In its statement, the MoD said, β€œThe transfer of technology from DRDO to BDL for production of the Astra Mk I missile and all associated systems has been completed, and production at BDL is in progress.”

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