An area warning has been recently issued regarding “Launch of Experimental Flight Vehicle” in the Bay Of Bengal in between 24 September to 01 October.
As the notification came out people started speculating. Most of them believed that India is going to test some Air to Air missile (AAM), most likely Astra MK 2.
Well these speculation may not be wrong, considering the details provided in the warning an Air Launched Weapon is the best guess.
If you look closely into the image you will find that the warning has been marked for 80 KM and the marked area is very narrower, these configuration is generally found in Air Launched Weapon.
Which Air Launched Missile India will possibly test ?
The speculation is around 2-3 Air Launched Missile which are as follows:-
Astra MK 2
The most obvious guess is Astra MK 2. Astra MK 2 is a successor of Astra MK 1 BVR A2A missile.
As the name suggests Astra MK 2 will have longer range than its predecessor and it will also incorporate additional capabilities over MK 1, which will help in making it a vital air to air dominance missile.
Most likely the Astra MK 2 will use dual pulse dual rocket motor for propulsion system to gain additional range over MK 2.
An estimated a range of Astra MK 2 is 160 km which is equivalent to American AIM-120D BVR missile.
First test of Astra MK 2 is due to happen and may be area warning is issued for testing this missile at low altitude.
Other BVR Missile
Second guess is some other BVR missile. IAF recently conducted a test for MICA missile on SU 30 MKI, may be this time an another test of MICA RF missile is scheduled to conduct.
We also can not rule out the possibility of Russian BVRAAM. After Balakot strike India purchased around 400 BVRAAM from Russia.
Finally their is also a small chance that DRDO may test a Supersonic Target Vehicle also known as STAR.
These target drones are capable in hitting supersonic speed which will help surface warship crews to practice how to detect and defeat incoming supersonic anti-ship missiles.
However, it is possible that a unpredictable weapon system got tested, but Astra MK 2 or some other BVRAAM is my best guess.