Even as the news of India developing an enhanced range version BrahMos with Russia sends ripples in Pakistan and China, the missile is all set to be test-fired from IAF’s Sukhoi-30 MKI. Officials in BrahMos Aerospace have told FE Online, that the test is slated to happen in the Bay of Bengal, this December. A Sukhoi-30 MKI will fire the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile targeting a decommissioned naval ship. This is the first time that the BrahMos missile will be tested from an aircraft platform. The integration of the missile with the Sukhoi-30 MKI has not been an easy feat and once complete, will make the world envy the IAF!
“This has not been an easy integration. Anywhere in the world, such a heavy missile has not been integrated with a platform like the Sukhoi. There are a lot of parameters that we need to be sure of before conducting the test. Right now the pilots are getting comfortable with flying the plane with BrahMos on it,” BrahMos officials said. If all goes well in December, then BrahMos will also be test-fired from the Sukhoi to hit a land target. The land test is planned in the next 3-4 months, and after that the IAF will be ready to induct the BrahMos!
A Sukhoi-30 MKI was test-flown with the integrated BrahMos missile earlier this year. The powerful missile will allow the IAF to penetrate deep inside the enemy territory and deliver a deadly blow to their vital installations from stand-off ranges. The integration will bring a paradigm shift in the capability of the IAF vis-à-vis its adversaries. According to BrahMos Aerospace, the Su-30-BrahMos combination will carry out air combat operations within and beyond visibility range and will provide the IAF with the capability of attacking targets protected by powerful air defence assets.
Watch: Awesome file video of the BrahMos missile in action
BrahMos Aerospace CEO & MD Sudhir Kumar Mishra has in the past told FE Online that no country in the world has a missile system, the likes of BrahMos, integrated on its frontline fighter jets. “This is the most important step in the direction to giving the IAF incredible offensive capability on its frontline fighter aircraft,” he has said. BrahMos has already been inducted in the Indian Navy and Indian Army. BrahMos is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, and has already caught the attention of a number of countries who wish to purchase it. In its current form, the BrahMos has a maximum velocity of 2.8 Mach and cruises at altitudes varying from 10 metres to 15 km.
Meanwhile, India’s firepower and strike capability will get a significant boost with India and Russia’s decision to make a new BrahMos missile with enhanced range. The BrahMos range had been less than 300 km because India was not a part of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). But with India now a part of MTCR, Russia can jointly develop a missile with higher range. This development also assumes significance in the backdrop of India’s growing tensions with Pakistan and China. A greater range for BrahMos would imply that India’s power to strike would get an unprecedented fillip.