New Delhi [India], April 16 (ANI) In a major capability boost for the Air Force's fighter fleet, India is planning to carry out the first test of the 120-130 km strike range Astra Mark 2 air-to-air missile in next few months.

The Astra Mark-1 air-to-air missile with strike range of around 90-100 kms is already in the Indian Air Force and is already integrated with the LCA Tejas and the Su-30 MKI fighter jets.

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The work on developing the 120-130 km strike range Astra Mark-2 air-to-air missile is going on and we are looking to carry out the first test firing in the next few months, defence officials told ANI.

The Astra Mark 2 would give the Indian Air Force an edge over the adversaries in air-to-air combat and can also be offered as an export product to friendly foreign countries operating the Russian origin Sukhoi, they said.

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The Defence Research and Development Organisation has been working towards developing the Astra Mark-1 and Astra Mark 2, along with a longer version, the Astra Mark-3, which would give it a capability similar to the Meteor missiles that have come to India along with the Rafael fighter jets.

The Pakistanis may have long-range Chinese PL-15 air-to-air missiles but there is no clarity about the claims made by them about its capabilities.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has already signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for supplying Astra Mark-1 beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Navy. (ANI)

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