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19 Dec, 2019 07:39

Air-launched BrahMos supersonic missile fully integrated with Su-30 platform, India declares after latest test

Air-launched BrahMos supersonic missile fully integrated with Su-30 platform, India declares after latest test

The latest test-launch of the BrahMos-A, an air-launched version of the supersonic Russian-Indian cruise missile, means the weapon system’s integration with the Sukhoi Su-30MKI platform is complete, the IAF said.

The air launch on Tuesday was part of a two-stage BrahMos test conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in conjunction with the country’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which tested a land-based version of the projectile. The BrahMos-A was fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI off the coast of Odisha and scored a direct hit on a target in the sea.

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“During the test, the missile was gravity dropped from the air combat platform’s fuselage and the two-stage weapon’s engine fired up and the missile straightaway propelled towards the intended target positioned at the sea, piercing it with pinpoint accuracy,” the IAF said.

It was the third test of the BrahMos-A after trials in 2017 and in May of this year, and the last one necessary to consider its integration with the air platform complete. The Indian military is expected to announce the weapon fully operational before the end of this year.

The BrahMos is based on the design of the Russian Onis anti-ship long-range missile. The ground-launched version has been in service in the Indian Army since 2007. The Sukhoi-30MKI, another result of Russian-Indian military cooperation, is the designated launch platform for the massive 2.5-ton projectile in the IAF.

So far, two of the aircraft have been converted to use them, but the IAF has plans to have as many as 40 BrahMos-compatible multirole fighter jets in its fleet and a stockpile of 200 missiles to arm them.

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A smaller 1.5-ton version of the missile, called the BrahMos-NG, which would be carried by aircraft like the MiG-29K or India’s domestically-developed HAL Tejas, is currently in development.

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