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India shows-off next-gen BrahMos supersonic missile at arms expo

India shows-off next-gen BrahMos supersonic missile at arms expo
A mock-up of the future air-launched cruise missile BrahMos-NG has been showcased at the Aero India exhibition in India. It’s a smaller version of the Russian-Indian projectile suitable for smaller aircraft.

First flight tests of the missile being developed by Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace are expected to take place in three to four years, the company’s IT director, Praveen Pathak, said.

BrahMos-NG (the ‘NG’ stands for ‘Next Generation’) is a smaller version of the air-launched version of the supersonic missile, the regular version of which uses the large Su-30MKI as a platform.

The mock-up of the newer version was shown mounted on two hardpoints of a HAL Tejas fighter jet of the Indian Air Force, which has half the payload capacity of the Sukhoi warplane. The Russian-built MIG-29 and the Su-30MKI can also be armed with the smaller missile, of course.

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The BrahMos-NG is expected to weigh about 1.5 tons and have a length of five meters, compared to the 2.5 tons and eight meters of the BrahMos-A currently in service. It will have a range of 300km and a cruise speed of up to 3.5 Mach.

The missile family originates from the Granit Soviet/Russian anti-ship missile, from which a ramjet engine was adapted and improved for the joint venture. The Indian side contributed the electronics part, including the guidance system. BrahMos was first developed in naval and ground-launched versions, with an air-launched version arriving in the late 2000s.

BrahMos Aerospace is an Indo-Russian joint venture established in 1998 in India following an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries. A 50.5 percent share of the company is owned by India, while Russia owns the remaining 49.5 percent.

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