Twin Test: BrahMos missile gives India air force, army unique strike capability

Photo: A BrahMos cruise missile being fired from an Indian Sukhoi combat jet today.
  • Snapshot
  • The air-launched BrahMos missile provide a stand-off range capability to the Indian Air Force
  • Today’s test is the third such successful firing of BrahMos missile from IAF’s Sukhoi jet

New Delhi: In a twin success today, India successively tested the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from land and air platforms. The successful tests got even sweeter as a maximum number of components on the missiles was of Indian origin.

The first test took place from a land-based mobile laucher and this missile had indigenous airframe, fuel management system and an indigenously designed seeker.

This test was received enthusiastically, as this gave a fresh impetus to the ‘make in India’ initiative of the Narendra Modi government.

The second launch was carried out from an Indian Air Force‘s (IAF’s) Su-30 MKI combat aircraft against a sea target.

The test from the Sukhoi jet, conducted in an user configuration, re-validated the ship-attack capability of the IndiaRussia joint venture missile.

During the launch, the missile was gravity dropped from the air combat platform’s fuselage and the two-stage weapon’s engine fired up.

The missile straight away propelled towards the intended target positioned at sea, piercing the same with pinpoint accuracy, BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited said in a statement here.

“With this test, the IAF now has a world record of direct hits on targets in all its launches from air against sea and land targets establishing itself as the prime user of the world’s most powerful conventional airborne weapon to attack targets on sea and land.”

Photo: BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, an India-Russia joint venture, being test fired.

The IAF said in a separate statement that the launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory and achieved a direct hit on the sea target, off Odisha coast. The firing was successfully undertaken with dedicated support from the Indian Navy.

The air launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5-ton supersonic air-to-surface cruise missile with ranges close to 300 km. The software development and integration of the weapon on the aircraft was undertaken by the IAF engineers, while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out complex mechanical and electrical modifications on the aircraft.

This test today was the third such live launch of the weapon and with this launch, the integration of the missile on Su-30MKI aircraft is complete.

The Indian Air Force, on May 22 this year, had successfully tested the missile against a land-based target in the Car Nicobar Islands region.

The first launch from Su-30 MKI was carried out on Nov. 22, 2017, against a sea target, which made the IAF the first in the world to have fired a supersonic cruise missile.

“The formidable BrahMos air launched cruise missile promises to immensely bolster the IAF’s air combat capability from long distance stand-off ranges and become the ultimate game changer for the IAF in the 21st century,” the BrahMos statement said.

The BrahMos missile provides a much-desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions, the IAF said.

“The capability of the missile coupled with the high performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF a strategic reach and allows it to dominate the battlefields over land and sea.”

Defence Research and Development Organisation Chairman and India’s Defence Reseach and Development Secretary Dr G. Satheesh Reddy congratulated the BrahMos team for the suceesful launch, which was spearheaded on the ground by BrahMos Director General Dr Sudhir Kumar Mishra.

Defence Research and Development Laboratory Director Dr Dashrath Ram and Integrated Test Range Director Dr Binoy Kumar Das witnessed the twin test.

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