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Brahmos air version tested from IAF’s Sukhoi-30, cleared for serial production

The missile launched from the aircraft followed the pre-planned trajectory meeting all mission objectives in the test that was conducted from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha at 10.30 am on Wednesday.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune |
December 8, 2021 6:23:28 pm
Air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi 30 MK-I. (Twitter/DRDO_India)

The air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from the Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30 MKI on Wednesday morning, thus clearing the system for the serial production of air-version BrahMos missiles within the country, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Calling the test a ‘copy book flight’, the missile launched from the aircraft followed the pre-planned trajectory meeting all mission objectives in the test that was conducted from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha at 10.30 am.

A combination of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia. Various versions of the BrahMos, including those which can be fired from land, warships, submarines and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets have already been developed and successfully tested in the past.

In the press statement about the Wednesday test, the MoD said, “The launch is a major milestone in the BrahMos development. It clears the system for the serial production of air-version BrahMos missiles within the country. Major airframe assemblies which form the integral part of the Ramjet Engine are indigenously developed by Indian Industry. These include metallic and non-metallic air frame sections comprising Ramjet fuel tank and pneumatic fuel supply system. During the test, the structural integrity and functional performance have been proven. The air version of BrahMos was last flight tested in July 2021.”

On November 22, 2017, Brahmos was successfully flight-tested for the first time from the IAF’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal and has since been successfully tested multiple times. BrahMos equipped Sukhoi-30s — which have a range of 1500 kilometres at a stretch without mid-air refuelling — are considered as key strategic deterrence for the adversaries both along the land borders and in the strategically important Indian Ocean Region. IAF is reported to have integrated BrahMos with multiple Sukhoi-30 fighter jets across the various strategic bases.

The Wednesday press statement said, “Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has praised DRDO, BrahMos, Indian Air Force and the industry on the successful test firing. Congratulating the teams involved in the flight test, Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy said various laboratories of DRDO, academic institutions, quality assurance and certification agencies, Public Sector undertakings and Indian Air Force participated in the development, testing, production and induction of this complex missile system.”

In November last year, back to back tests of Brahmos’s land, sea and air versions were conducted. Land-based BrahMos formations along the borders, BrahMos equipped Sukhoi-30s at bases in Northern theatre and Southern peninsula, and BrahMos capable Naval assets deployed in sea form a formidable deterrence, officials said.

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