Air-launch BrahMos Cruise Missile Ready for Tests

A modified version of the supersonic BrahMos missile for use by aircraft is ready for tests.
Once the tests are completed, the missile will be inducted in the Indian Air Force. The missile has been already inducted in the Army and Navy.

Speaking to reporters at Kalasalingam University here, BrahMos Aerospace CEO and MD A. Sivathanu Pillai said the missile has been successfully modified for launch from fighter aircraft and fighter-bombers.

"The weight of the missile has been reduced by 500 kg to 2,500 kg for the air-launch variant," he said.

The land and sea launch versions weigh 3,000 kg.


Though the weight has been reduced, the air-launch version remains as deadly as its land- and sea-launched counterparts, Mr Pillai said, adding that trials for the air launch version of BrahMos would be conducted in 2012 and it is expected to be inducted in the Indian Air Force by 2013.

Noting that Sukhoi-30 is currently India’s main strike fighter and the ideal platform for the air-launched missile, he said this version of the BrahMos had been made to be fitted on the aircraft.

Mr Pillai said modifications will have to be made to be made to the Sukhoi-30s too to integrate the air launch version of BrahMos on the fighter.

"The Sukhoi-30 is currently being modified in Russia to allow it to carry the BrahMos,” he said.

Mr Pillai exuded confidence that like the air-launch version of BrahMos, modifications in the Sukhoi-30, the interface and firing controls will also be developed successfully. If all goes well, the missile will be inducted in the IAF by 2013.

On the trials, which are scheduled in 2012, Mr Pillai said that first the missile would be fired without any explosives and then with a bomb load.

Asked about the unique 90Âș manoeuvrability of the BrahMos after takeoff, he said much effort had been taken to achieve the technique so the missile’s trajectory would be unpredictable. 

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