India successfully test-fires BrahMos from Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft
23 November 2017
The world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, was on Wednesday successfully flight-tested for the first time from the Indian Air Force's frontline fighter, Sukhoi-30MKI. The missile was tested against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal.
The latest test of the multi-platform weapon completes the tactical cruise missile triad for India, as it is now capable of being launched from land, sea and air.
The supersonic cruise missile that provides a major strategic deterrence against China and Pakistan can be utilised in 'multi-mission' roles, including precision strikes on terror camps across the LoC, against highvalue naval targets, including aircraft carriers and nuclear bunkers.
The missile was gravity dropped from the aircraft and the two-stage missile's engine fired up and propelled it towards the intended target.
The first stage of the system takes the missile to supersonic speed and the second accelerates it closer to Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound. Work is ongoing to develop a hypersonic (March 5) version of the missile.
"The successful maiden test firing of BrahMos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from the Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF's air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges," the defence ministry said. The air force said the test was a major achievement.
This will be a significant capability development for the IAF, which will have the combination of Su-30 fighters having a range of 3,000 km and the BrahMos with 290 km.
In March, an extended-range version of the missile, with a flight range of more than 400 km, was successfully test-fired.
The BrahMos ALCM weighing 2.5 tonnes is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on the Su-30 fighter aircraft, modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to carry weapons.
BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation and NPOM of Russia, is responsible for designing, developing and producing the missile.
In June, 2016, BrahMos Aerospace successfully demonstrated the integration of the BrahMos on Su-30. The demonstration flight involved the carriage of BrahMos by Su-30.