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Maiden tests of air-launched BRAHMOS from November

Hindustan Times , (September 15, 2015)

NEW DELHI: India will carry out maiden tests of its air-launched BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile from specially-modified Sukhoi-30 fighter planes from November, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Mishra told HT.

Four flight tests will be conducted over a period of six months before the missile is declared ready for deployment on the fighter planes towards mid-2016. The actual missile will be tested in April 2016 following three dummy tests.

The Nasik division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has modified two Su-30 fighters to carry the 2.5-tonne missile, the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered to BrahMos Aerospace by September-end.

The BRAHMOS missile, an Indo-Russian joint venture, provides India the capability to hit targets 290km away at nearly three times the speed of sound. The missile's land and naval variants -- 500kg heavier than the air version -- are already in service.

"The missile will give the IAF extended range capability. No other Air Force has such a powerful cruise missile in its inventory," Mishra said. The BRAHMOS missile has three existing variants: Block-I (anti-ship), Block-II (land to land) and Block-III (with steep dive capabilities for mountain warfare).

The BRAHMOS missile is also expected to be deployed on six high-tech submarines to be built in India under the Rs 65,000-crore Project P-75I. Mishra said the joint venture was also pressing the accelerator on the BRAHMOS NG (next generation) missile project. Once ready, the NG missile, weighing only 1.4 tonnes, can be deployed on smaller warships and medium-weight fighter planes.

"We are in the process of freezing the design and specifications of BrahMos-NG. We are also talking to users to give us an indication of their requirements," Mishra said.

BrahMos Aerospace is also developing India's first hypersonic missile. Capable of travelling at a speed of 8,575 kmph, the missile could be ready in five to seven years. BRAHMOS-II (K) will be capable of taking out hardened targets such as underground bunkers and weapon storage facilities at seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7). As first reported by HT on August 8, the K in it is for Kalam.

  • "Time has come for BrahMos Aerospace to work on Mark-II version of BRAHMOS so that we will still be the market leader in hypersonic cruise missiles." - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

  • "The traditional partnership between India & Russia has been tested by the time and time and it is the most important stabilizing factor, not only for the asian region, but for the whole world" - Vladimir Putin

  • "Make in India' should not be limited to production & manufacturing only, it should also involve generation of engineering knowledge in the country." - Mr. Sudhir Kumar Mishra

  • "BrahMos is not only a successful Joint Venture but also a model for cooperation which has immense political value for our two countries" - Mr. Dmitry Rogozin

  • "BrahMos JV is a unique venture which has given substantial guidelines in defence design inputs, engineering inputs, production related culture and ultimately in pushing the technology base forward" - Dr. V G Sekaran

  • "BrahMos JV is most suitable model, which has withstood the test of time and is recommended to be followed for realization of all high end products with our country." - Dr. V K Saraswat

  • "BrahMos is the most successful missile company of the nation and it is this unique blend of young and experienced team members motivated with innovation and utmost dedication that has contibuted to the success of the missile system" - Dr. Avinash Chander