New Delhi: Signing a contract with defence public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), the Defence Ministry has said that the pact will create opportunities for several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in aerospace technology for a period of at least 25 years.

The contract is for supply of the indigenously developed ASTRA MK-1 Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air to air missiles and associated equipment for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Navy at a cost of Rs 2,971 crore.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in coordination with the IAF has developed the ASTRA MK-1 missile and all associated systems for its launch, ground handling and testing.

The missile, for which successful trials have already been undertaken by the IAF, is fully integrated on the Su-30MKI fighter aircraft and will be integrated with other fighter aircraft in a phased manner, including the Light Combat Aircraft, the statement said. “The Navy will integrate the missile on the MiG-29K fighter aircraft,” said the ministry.

According to DRDO ASTRA has a range of over 100 kms with modern guidance and navigation techniques and has midcourse guidance and RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy.

Comparing other imported missile systems the Ministry has called this missile technologically and economically superior.

Production at BDL is underway and transfer of technology from DRDO to BDL for production of ASTRA-MK-1 missile and all associated systems has been completed.