The Indian Air Force (IAF) has test-fired the air version of the BrahMos missile from a Su-30 MKI multirole fighter aircraft.
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) noted that the missile launched from the aircraft followed the ‘desired trajectory before directly hitting the land target’.
BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL), a joint venture between India and Russia, designed and developed the BrahMos air version missile.
The 2.5t supersonic air to surface cruise missile can hit targets with ranges of up to 300km. It is a modified variant of its basic naval / land configuration and includes several enhancements such as a lighter propulsion system, as well as redesigned fins and nose cap, Jane’s reported.
In November 2017, the IAF fired an air-launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category to hit a sea target, becoming the first airforce in the world to have achieved this feat.
The latest launch represents the second such live launch of the weapon.
Prior to the launch, the missile was integrated on the Su-30 MKI aircraft. The process involved mechanical, electrical and software modifications on aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The IAF worked in coordination with other stakeholders from the inception to the launch.
Engineers belonging to the service performed the software development of the aircraft.
In a statement, the MoD said: “The dedicated and synergetic efforts of the IAF, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), BAPL and HAL have proven the capability of the nation to undertake such complex integrations.”
The BrahMos missile is designed to provide the IAF with the capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with precision during day or night and in all weather conditions.
The MoD added: “The capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF the desired strategic reach.”
During test-firing, the Indian Navy offered support by providing several monitoring ships to ensure range safety clearance.
BAPL’s BrahMos missile can be launched from a range of platforms, including submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land-based platforms.