The air version of the Indo-Russian Joint venture BrahMos missile was successfully fired from the Indian Air Force s (IAF) frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. With this success, ability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF the desired strategic reach.
According to the IAF, The integration of the weapon on the aircraft was a very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications on aircraft. The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the land target.
Tuesday s test was the second live launch of the weapon, as the first time it was launched live was in November 2017, when the IAF became the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target.
The BrahMos missile is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of close to 300 km, designed and developed by BAPL, and the participation of the IAF from the time of its inception along with other agencies including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and BAPL.
The software development of the SU-30 MKI was undertaken by the IAF engineers while the state-owned HAL carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on the aircraft.
This missile is expected to provide the IAF a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.
The Joint Venture between India and Russia is also planning to increase the speed of the speed of missile upto Mach 5 when it is upgraded to become a hypersonic weapon.
According to company officials, there is always an endeavour to increase the speed of the BrahMos missile and there is a constant effort to building up its combat capabilities. The current BrahMos modification has a speed of Mach 2.8-3.