WATCH | BrahMos: World’s fastest cruise missile clears first air launch from Sukhoi fighter jet, creates history

The successful maiden test firing of Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile from Su-30MKI significantly boosts the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.

Published: 22nd November 2017 02:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2017 08:05 PM   |  A+A-

Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft taking off with BrahMos ALCM. (Express Photo Service)

Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft taking off with BrahMos ALCM. (Express Photo Service)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: World’s fastest supersonic cruise missile BrahMos created another history on Wednesday. With advanced seeker software, the high speed missile was successfully flight-tested first time from the Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30 MKI.

Defence sources said the missile was fired against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal off Paradip and Puri coasts during noon hours. The missile was gravity dropped from the fuselage of Su-30 aircraft.

“The two-stage missile’s engine fired up and straightway propelled towards the intended target at the sea. It was a spectacular success. We are extremely happy with the performance of the formidable weapon system,” said a defence official from New Delhi.

The Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) BrahMos weighing around 2.5 tonne is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on Indian fighter aircraft modified by HAL to carry the weapon.

BrahMos ALCM being fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI. (Express Photo Service)

The Su-30 MKI has a maximum speed of 2 Mach with a single in-flight range of 3,000 km. A total of 8,000 kg payload can be carried by it in a maximum altitude of 17 km.

“After performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres, successfully hit a ship-based target located at 280 km range with high precision. The missile having such capabilities can distinguish a particular target from a group of targets,” the official said.

The world-class weapon BrahMos with multi-platform and multi-mission role is now capable of being launched from Land, Sea and Air, completing the tactical cruise missile triad for India.

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“The successful maiden test firing of ALCM BrahMos from Sukhoi-30 MKI will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges,” said a defence statement.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI can carry three missiles while other combat aircraft would carry one each. Many modifications were made to reduce the missile's weight to 2.5 tonne. While smaller booster was used and connector relocated, fins were added for airborne stability after launch.

Jointly developed by DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia, The 8.4 meter missile is capable of delivering warheads of up to 300 kg at thrice the speed of sound. DRDO scientists have significantly contributed for the advanced guidance system that helps the supersonic missile maneuver perfectly.

The aircraft has been modified it such a way that three missiles can be fired on three different targets or in a variety of other combinations near simultaneously. As the prime strike weapon, it can ensure the aircraft’s invincibility by engaging targets at long ranges.

BrahMos is the only supersonic cruise missile possessing the advanced capability providing an edge to the user with precise hit. The Indian army is the first army in the World to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missile with advanced capabilities.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO and BrahMos for the outstanding accomplishment.

Chairman of DRDO and Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development S Christopher also congratulated the scientists and engineers for the excellent text book kind of flight test.

The missile test was witnessed by DG (BrahMos) and CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace Sudhir Mishra along with senior IAF officials, scientists and officials from DRDO and BrahMos.

The first Su-30MKI fighter aircraft modified for BrahMos was handed over by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to the CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace in 2015.

On March 11, maiden test of extended-range version of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was conducted from a defence base off Odisha coast. The strike range of the missile has been enhanced from 290 km to 450 km after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which removed caps on range of the cruise missile.

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