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India to test-fire an air-launched variant of the BrahMos missiles


According to an Indian senior official, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is working to equip Sukhoi aircraft to carry and launch an air-launched variant of the BrahMos missiles. Once successful, Su-30MKIs could easily carry out the long-range strike.


India to test fire an air launched variant of the BrahMos missiles Two Indian Brahmos missiles (Picture Source: Army Recognition)


Post the Balakot air strike carried-out by Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pakistan which destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror facility in Pakistan, IAF has been looking for new options to increase its firepower. As a result, IAF along with Indian DRDO may soon test-fire air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

According to a senior official, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is working to equip Sukhoi aircraft to carry and launch BrahMos missiles. Once successful, Su-30MKIs could easily carry out the long-range strike.

Hence, in the case of Balakot like situation these lethal missiles can be fired from within the country as it has a high strike range of 290 km. Therefore, IAF pilots could hit their target without trespassing the Pakistani airspace.

During Balakot airstrikes, the IAF had used the Spice-2000 bombs launched from a Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft for striking Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan. With the availability of BrahMos missile developed by DRDO, the IAF would be able to destroy similar targets from at least 150 km inside the Indian territory.

The IAF test-fired a BrahMos-A from a Su-30MKI in November successfully destroying a naval target. The IAF has conducted several tests of the BrahMos-A in 2016 and 2017. Sources said that IAF is keen to fast-track the process.

Modifications in order for the Su-30MKI to carry and launch the BrahMos-A include reinforcing the aircraft's undercarriage in addition to various mechanical, electrical and software upgrades.