After a gap of nearly four years, India's indigenously developed Astra air-to-air missile, the sleek beyond visual range missile has been launched from the launch complex-II of Integrated Test Range (ITR), at Chandipur near Balasore.
According to the defence sources, Astra has been fired from the launch complex II of ITR, 15 km from Balasore, at 11.56 am.
The missile has a range of 80 km and its launch speed was estimated to be 0.6 to 2.2 mach, the sources said. Astra has a length of 3570 mm and a diameter of 178 mm.
A team of scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Hyderabad and ITR was busy for the last few days at the range, making preparations for the launch.
The sources said the anticipated evacuation of people living in villages within a 2.5 km radius of the launch site was not undertaken as the missile was fired from an angle that did not affect the area.