Indian Air Force receives first BrahMos integrated Su-30 MKI aircraft
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received the first BrahMos missile integrated Su-30 MKI multi-role combat aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The aircraft was handed over at the ongoing Aero India 2015 exhibition at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju said: "The successful completion of the first Su 30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF.
"We are hopeful of rolling out the second aircraft in a record time."
The BrahMos integration programme was originally taken up as an indigenous challenge by HAL's Nasik division in 2010. It encountered several difficulties due to limited design data of Su-30 MKI and received approval in January 2011.
An order for integration was awarded by BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) on techno-commercial merits against original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in January 2014.
A HAL official was quoted by The Times of India as saying: "As part of the project IAF eventually seeks to integrate 216 air-version missiles on 42 Sukhoi fighters."
According to HAL sources, the conservative timeline for integrating the second Su-30 MKI would require nearly 13 months.
While BAPL was responsible for missile integration, HAL was required to perform certain crucial modifications that enable the missile team to fulfil its duties.
Working in collaboration with IAF, the company made several changes in the aircraft, including modifications to the fuselage in the last few months, to accommodate the missile.
The aircraft is scheduled to conduct its first flight in March, followed by second trial fighter jet testing, with all trials expected to be completed in around a year, as reported by Defenseworld.net.
The Brahmos is developed by Brahmos Aerospace, a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia. It is a stealth supersonic cruise missile designed for launch from land, ship, submarines, and air platforms.
A speed of Mach 2.8 can be achieved by the solid propellant rocket-powered missile. It can also intercept surface targets by flying as low as 10m above the ground, even in mountainous terrain and hillocks.
Image: HAL and IAF officials during handing over of flight clearance certificate of Su-30 integrated with BrahMos missile at Aero India 2015. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.