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India successfully test fires interceptor missile

Bhubaneswar:  India on Friday successfully test fired its indigenously developed Astra air-to-air interceptor missile from a defence base in Odisha, official said.

The beyond-visual-range missile was tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 230 kilometres from Bhubaneswar.

"The mission was successful. Today the missile was tested from land" ITR director M.V.K.V. Prasad said.

Prasad said it was a development trial of the missile and the target was an unmanned aerial vehicle which was flown from the same base few minutes before the launch of the missile.

Astra is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a range of 80 kilometre and in tail-chase mode at 20 kilometre.

The Astra test comes a day after the Indian armed forces successfully test-fired medium range indigenously developed Prithvi-II nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile from the same test range.

Both the Astra and Prithvi missiles have been flight-tested a number of times from the same test range in the past.

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