Air Weapons: India Masters Modern Missile Manufacturing


April 2, 2007: In the last two weeks, India has conducted three successful tests of its Astra radar guided air-to-air missile. This comes four years after the first test. Back in 2003, after five years of effort, an Astra missile was launched from the ground, to test its solid fuel rocket. The 12.5 foot long missile weighs over 400 pounds, has a 33 pound warhead and a range of up to a hundred kilometers.

India already has missiles like this; the French Matra 530D and the Russian AA-10C and AA-12. The Astra appears to have borrowed a lot of ideas from the Matra and AA-12 missiles. The U.S. equivalent is the AMRAAM. India has spent nearly $200 million developing Astra. While it would be cheaper to continue buying more AA-12s from Russia, India is intent on developing its own high-tech arms industries. The Indians have discovered that this takes time. They can also observe Chinas rocky road to building a domestic weapons industry. Projects like Astra are more of an investment in the future, than a less expensive way to obtain high-tech weapons.


Article Archive

Air Weapons: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close