COLOR THEME


BACKGROUND TEXTURE


BACKGROUND IMAGE


Integration of BRAHMOS missiles into Sukhoi jets fast-tracked

PTI , (June 09, 2019)

NEW DELHI: In a strategically significant move, the government has decided to fast-track integration of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missiles into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets under a closely-guarded project.

Official sources said the decision to speed up implementation of the "strategic" project was taken nearly six weeks after the Balakot air strikes and subsequent Pakistani retaliation.

State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL), an Indian-Russian Joint Venture, are implementing the project.

Considering IAF's requirement, both HAL and BAPL were directed to expedite implementation of the project so that it can be completed much before the scheduled deadline of December 2020, sources said.

The BRAHMOS, world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, coupled with the superlative performance of the Sukhoi aircraft will give the IAF a strategic reach and will allow it to dominate the ocean and the battle fields in the region, according to an assessment by the IAF.

Sources said the government had carried out a review of IAF's February 26 air strikes deep inside Pakistan's Balakot and the consensus was that the adversary would not have dared to retaliate the next day if India possessed superior air defence system as well as strike capability.

"In this context, the government decided to take a series of steps to bolster the IAF's overall combat capability which included fast-tracking integration of BRAHMOS missiles into Sukhoi jets," said a source.

Once the project to integrate the BRAHMOS missiles into the Sukhoi fleet is over, the IAF's capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target in sea or land is expected to go up manifold.

In 2016, the government had decided to integrate the air-launched variant of the BRAHMOS into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets.

Though actual work on the project started by end of 2017, its implementation has been very slow, sources said.

The 2.5-tonne missile flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km.

The range of the missile can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year.

BRAHMOS missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India's Su-30 fighter aircraft.

There was a view in the IAF that if it possessed high levels of "technological asymmetry", then it would have been able to inflict heavy damage on Pakistan during the adversary's unsuccessful aerial raid on February 27.

The government is undertaking several measures to strengthen the IAF's combat prowess, sources said, adding the HAL has been specifically told to put additional manpower and resources to fast-track the BRAHMOS project.

The government is of the view that the planned induction of Rafale aircraft with deadly Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), procurement of S-400 air defence missile system and integration of BRAHMOS on Sukhoi will provide India a significant advantage over Pakistani Air Force, sources said.

The air-launched variant of the BRAHMOS was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 combat jet on November 22, 2017, marking a major milestone to enhance the precision strike capability of the air force.

A fleet of 40 Sukhoi jet are undergoing structural modifications at the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for integration of the missile on them.

The integration of the missile on Sukhoi aircraft is a very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications of the Su-30 jet, officials said.

  • "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