Sukhoi-30 chosen to mount BrahMos: IAF
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to make its deep penetration Sukhoi-30 fighter jets a platform to mount the air version of supersonic BrahMos missiles, whose first test-launch will be conducted by the end of 2014.
Sukhoi-30 is being manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Nashik facility in collaboration with the Russians. The air version of the BrahMos missile is ready, but it will take a year more for testing, simulations and aircraft modifications.
BrahMos Aerospace is bound to deliver the supersonic cruise missile to the IAF starting 2015. It has also slashed the weight of the missile to 2.5 tonne from the normal 3 tonne as demanded by the IAF as the launch at high speeds requires lesser components on propulsion.
The BrahMos has already been inducted by the Army and the Navy. However, an air platform has not been provided yet.
The Brahmos missile:
- Project: Joint Venture of India and Russia for manufacturing the supersonic cruise missiles for use by the armed forces of both the countries.
- BrahMos = Brahmaputra and Moskva (Rivers of India and Russia respectively)
- Companies involved: DRDO (India) and NOPM (Russia)
- Partnership: 50.5 (India):49.5 (Russia)
- Speed: Mach 2.8 to 3.0. World’s fastest cruise missile in operation.
- Range: 290 km
- Can carry conventional warhead of 300 kg
- Available with different versions which can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.