The first ever launch of Extended Range (ER) Version of BrahMos Air Launched missile from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft was successfully fired on Thursday. According to an official statement, the test firing from the aircraft went as planned and it also achieved a direct hit on the designated target located in the Bay of Bengal region.
How critical is it for Indian Air Force (IAF)?
Now the IAF can carry out precision strikes from SU-30 MKI against a sea/land target over long ranges.
How does it help IAF?
Coupled with high performance of the SU-30 MKI fighter jet, this recently extended range will give the service a strategic reach, and will also allow it to dominate the future battle fields.
The dedicated and synergetic efforts of the IAF, Indian Navy, DRDO, BAPL and HAL have proven the capability of the nation to achieve this feat.
As reported in Financial Express Online in 2019, integrating this missile system on SU-30 MKI was a complex process which involved software modifications on the aircraft as well as electrical and mechanical changes.
The first time it was launched from SU-30 MKI was in 2017 and that made the IAF first air force in the world to have successfully fire an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile on a sea target.
Who made the software changes?
On the SU-30 MKI, the software development was undertaken by the engineers of IAF and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was responsible for carrying out mechanical and electrical modifications.This missile has been designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) and it is an Indo-Russian joint venture. IAF has been involved in the project from time to time as it has been incorporated in SU-30 MKI. Other agencies involved in the project include Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and HAL.