HYDERABAD: Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, flagged off the indigenously developed and manufactured Astra Missiles for supply to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday.
The event took place at Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) Kanchanbagh unit in Hyderabad in the presence of BDL chairman and managing director commodore A Madhavarao (retd), DRDO’s director general of Missiles and Strategic Systems, U Raja Babu, and other senior officials.
Astra is a beyond visual range air-to-air missile indigenously developed by DRDO and manufactured by BDL for the IAF. The missile has a range of over 100 km.
Ajay Bhatt congratulated BDL for their efforts to realise the production of the indigenously developed missile, in line with the Central government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ scheme. He appreciated the contribution made by BDL in enhancing the defence exports of the country.
“The knowledge and infrastructure base with DRDO needs to be tapped by MSMEs and private industries, which, in turn, will lead to the establishment of a self-reliant defence industrial ecosystem in our country. The DRDO should emerge as the world leader in exporting weapon systems to other nations,” he said.
Commodore A Madhavarao (retd) said that the focus of BDL has always been on ‘Make in India’ with maximum indigenous content.
He mentioned that BDL is in receipt of several leads from friendly foreign countries for the Astra weapon system.
He highlighted that BDL had already augmented its manufacturing capability to meet both domestic and international demands for Astra missiles simultaneously.