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BrahMos Air Launch Missile Fired from Su-30 MKI Aircraft

BrahMos air version anti shipping missile was successfully fired on 22 November 2017 by Indian Air Force from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft off the Eastern Coast. The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target. Crew comprising Wg Cdr Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr KP Kiran Kumar test fired the missile while the chase aircraft was flown by Sqn Ldr Angad Pratap and Gp Capt Badrish N Athreya. With this test India has completed tests of the cruise missile triad for land, sea and air variants. IAF is the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category.

  • BrahMos missile, that was air launched, is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of more than 400 kms.
  • BrahMos missile provides Indian Air Force a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target be in sea or land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.
  • Capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30 aircraft gives the IAF a strategic reach and allows it to dominate the ocean and the battle fields.
  • IAF was totally involved in the very complex integration on the aircraft including mechanical, electrical and software modifications on aircraft.
  • IAF engineers undertook software development of the aircraft while the HAL carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on aircraft.
  • Optimization of Transfer Alignment of the inertial sensors of the missile development was one of the major challenges overcome by scientists of RCI, DRDO.
  • IAF flight test crew with its rich experience ensured smooth integration.
  • IAF, DRDO, BAPL and HAL with their dedicated and synergetic efforts have proven the capability of the nation to undertake such complex integrations on its own.
  • Indian Navy with its dedicated support by way of ensuring availability of the target and a large number of monitoring ships to ensure range safety clearance made possible the successful firing of the missile.

BrahMos missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmputra and the Moskva. BrahMos Aerospace Limited, a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace, is responsible for designing, developing and producing the missile.

APJ Abdul Kalam had initiated the signing of an agreement with Russia in 1998 for the BrahMos missile. The missile was inducted into the Navy on 28 June 2006; Army acquired it on 21 June, 2007 and the maiden flight of the submarine variant of BrahMos was successfully test-fired from a pontoon off Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal on 20 March 2013, marking a Global first in the Vertical Launch of the supersonic cruise missile from an underwater platform.

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