With the successful test of the air launched version of India's BrahMos missile, the Indian Air Force will now have the ability to strike hostile warships and ground targets more than 400 kilometres away with precision accuracy and within minutes of being ordered to strike.
The Air Force version of BrahMos missile was developed jointly by India and Russian Federation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed delight over the successful maiden test flight of Brahmos cruise missile from an Air Force jet. The Defence Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted that India creates a world record and completes the Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad successfully by testing Brahmo. Brahmos is the two-stage missile engine fired up and launched towards the intended target at the Bay of Bengal.
Brahmos ALCM, which weighs 2.5 tonnes, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India's Su-30 fighter aircraft.
The missile test was witnessed by Sudhir Mishra, Director General (BrahMos), and CEO and MD, BrahMos Aerospace, along with IAF officials, scientists and officials from DRDO and BrahMos. The Brahmos cruise missiles have an effective strike range of around 290-300 km.
The technological feat for the air-launched variant required the missile to be miniaturized and designed for firing from a platform, the Sukhoi 30Mki, that was not originally developed for such a weapon.
Given its speed of Mach 2.8 (2.8 times the speed of sound), the BrahMos is extremely hard to presently intercept by surface to air missiles deployed on leading warships around the world.
The land-attack version of BrahMos is fitted on a mobile autonomous launcher. After release, the missile free falls for 100-150 meters, then goes into a cruise phase at 14,000 meters and finally the terminal phase at 15 meters.
The Sukhoi is capable of flying at a maximum speed that is twice the speed of sound (mach 2).
The integral aerodynamic configuration combined with thrust vectoring results in practically unlimited manoeuvrability and unique take-off and landing characteristics.
In order for the aircraft to carry and fire the heavyweight cruise missile, their undercarriage had to be reinforced, next to a host of other technical modification and upgrades. The chase aircraft was flown by Gp Capt Badrish N Athreya and Sqn Ldr Angad Pratap.