BrahMos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, made its first successful flight test from the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday. According to a statement by the Defence Ministry, the missile was gravity dropped from the plane’s fuselage, and its two-stage engine fired up and propelled straight towards a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal. The successful maiden test firing will significantly bolster the capability of IAF’s air combat operations from stand-off ranges, the statement added.
The BrahMos Air Launched Cruise Missile, weighing 2.5 tonnes, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft, which was modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to carry weapons. BrahMos is now capable of being launched from land, sea and air, completing the tactical cruise missile triad for India.
The missile has already been inducted in the Navy and the Army, while a submarine-based version has also been tested. It has a flight range of up to 290 km and operates on ‘fire and forget principle’. The air-launched version of the missile has been developed by BrahMos, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and NPOM of Russia, and has lesser weight and additional rear fins for aerodynamic stability during separation from the aircraft at the time of launch.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated “Team Brahmos” and the scientists at DRDO for the “historic achievement”. Dr S Christopher, Chairman of DRDO, congratulated the scientists and engineers for the “excellent text book kind of flight test”.