The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to armour 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos cruise missiles.

BrahMos Aerospace CEO and MD AS Pillai said the inclusion of BrahMos cruise missile would make the aircraft unique in firepower, according to RIA Novosti.

The first tests of BrahMos air-launched missiles will take place in 2011, while the first fighter test flights with missiles onboard are scheduled for end of 2012.

The missile, with a range of 290km, is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of up to 300kg.

With a top speed of Mach 2.8, the weapon can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 30ft.