The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive an air-to-air variant of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile by 2012, according to an official from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India.

DRDO chief controller and CEO of BrahMos Aerospace A Sivathanu Pillai said the cruise missile would have nine times more destructive capacity than any other cruise missile of its class.

The missile will travel three times the speed of sound (Mach 3) and will cover 1km in a second.

The missile’s blast impact is due to the high velocity that it achieves, which translates into high kinetic energy.

“Work has already commenced on designing a hypersonic missile in collaboration with Russia that would be able to achieve speeds of Mach 7,” Pillai added.