BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, seems to be picking up speed for its final induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
As per the highly placed official sources at BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian joint venture, the air launched version of the formidable missile shall be test-fired against a live sea-based target in second half of the May followed with a final test-fire against a live land target in Pokhran firing range in Jaisalmer by May last week or June first week. After the successful completion of these significant trials, the missile shall finally be ready for induction into the IAF .
On April 21, Indian Navy successfully undertook the maiden firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, on a target on land. Its Anti Ship variant has already been inducted into Indian Navy . Majority of the frontline ships of Indian Navy , like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile. Land Attack variant of BrahMos Missile while enhancing the prowess of Indian Navy , provides Indian Naval Ships the capability to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea.
Drop trials of this `fire and forget’ missile have been carried out successfully from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft earlier while achieving mission parameters regarding the release mechanism of launcher in addition to clearance from the aircraft in a copybook manner as per the officials.
“Further the data with respect to live sea target attack from air launched version would first be analysed paving way for the desert test fires of air launched version from the fighter aircraft against live land target in Pokaran at the most by first half of June”, said an official adding that the test fires shall be conducted for a range of 300 kms at a speed of 2.8 Mach (almost three times that of sound).The release mechanism . of the launcher in addition to the clearance from the aircraft after the fire have already been evaluated paving way for the test fire of 2.5-ton BrahMos air-to-ground missile from the Sukhoi-30 aircraft. Air version of BrahMos is 500 kgs lighter than its Army and Naval versions.
Earlier on March 11 this year, an enhanced version of the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile with an Extended Range (ER), much higher range than the current range of 290 km and a supersonic speed of 2.8 Mach was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipurat sea in Balasore, off the coast of Odisha. This triumph empowered the Indian Armed Forces to knock down enemy targets far beyond a range of 400km as per a statement from Dr. Sudhir Mishra, CEO& MD of BrahMos Aerospace.
BrahMos lends the competence to all three wings of armed forces with its impeccable capacity to be launched from air, land, sea and sub-sea against deep, well shielded and hidden sea and land targets while evading the enemy air defence systems due to its variable trajectory.