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.Payloads over platforms.
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).
Say it over and over like a mantra.
Then consider this radical proposal. If the former Navy Chief was right then the key to affordability AND lethality is to flip the US script. We need to improve our missile technology. But while we're waiting for concepts to be drawn up and test vehicles built we need a stop gap that will put the Chinese Navy on its back foot.
How do we do that?
We think out of the box. We buy Indian Brahmos missiles. We know that the Indians are shopping it because I remember a story where they were in talks with the Vietnamese about a potential sale. Additionally it could be spun as an attempt to bring India into our sphere of influence.
Yes. We would need to Americanize it but the pure power of the weapon is undeniable. Add it to our strike complex and its a winner. Add US electronics to the mix and it could be unbeatable.
I know what your next question is. Why not buy a European or American missile instead? Simple. They don't have the range required to excite....or to be a game changer in the Pacific. 100 mile ranges no longer impress. We need the distance that only the Brahmos brings.