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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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India tests Astra missile for second time in two days
Mar 26, 2007 - 12:14:52 PM
'Fishermen have also been asked not to enter the sea within a 20 km radius from the ITR,' said a police official.

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[RxPG] Balasore -, March 26 - India Monday test-fired for the second time in two days its home-grown air-to-air missile Astra, considered a new system in the guided missile development programme, from a defence base in this eastern coastal state.

Officials said the Astra, meaning weapon in Hindi, was tested from the Integrated Test Range - at Chandipur in the coastal district of Balasore, about 230 km from here, just a little after 10 a.m.

Scientists had tested the missile, which has a striking range of 25-40 km, from the same range on Sunday as well. Astra has been developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation - and is likely to be ready by 2011-2012.

The latest test-firings are aimed at providing the Indian Air Force with a beyond visual range - air-to-air missile to equip the Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Su-30 MKI and the Light Combat Aircraft, sources said.

The local administration has evacuated over 6,000 people in six villages, within 2.5 km from the ITR campus, to temporary shelters early Monday.

'Fishermen have also been asked not to enter the sea within a 20 km radius from the ITR,' said a police official.

India had earlier planned to test the Dhanush, a naval version of the Prithvi surface-to-surface missile, from a warship in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast on Sunday. However, it was postponed due to certain technical problems, the sources added.

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