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India’s Air Force to get 40 strike fighters with BrahMos missiles

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16, /ITAR-TASS/. India’s Air Force will get 40 SU-30MKI strike fighters armed with a smaller version of BrahMos missiles, Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace President Sivathanu Pillai told ARMS-TASS at the international arms exhibition DSA-2014 in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, April 16.

The company is working to reduce the weight of the missile so that it could be integrated with different platforms, including the fifth-generation fighter India is creating together with Russia, he said.

Pillai noted that the commissioning of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier complete with deck-based MiG-29K/KUB jet fighters required accelerated work to arm them with a smaller version of the BrahMos missile so that the aircraft could take off from the carrier with two missiles under their wings.

While the fifth-generation jet fighter and MiG-29K/KUB aircraft can be armed with two BrahMos-M missiles, the Su-30MKI strike fighters can carry three such missiles. The latter aircraft will be modernised to take and fire the missiles. The Indian Air Force has already made the relevant decision.

Pillai hopes that the first ship-based version of the BrahMos missile will be fired in the fourth quarter of this year from a SU-30MKI jet fighter.

The missile will be 6 metres long and have a diameter of 0.5 metres. It will be able to travel at a speed 3.5 times the sound velocity and carry a charge of 200 to 300 kg over a maximum distance of up to 290 km. The BrahMos missiles that have been tested up to date are two-stage cruise missiles 10 meters long and 0.7 metres in diameter.

The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Navy's newest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa in late May 2013.

The missile performed high-level “C” manoeuvre at pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target. The surface-to-surface missile, having a range of 290-km, was test launched from the Russian-built Project 1135.6 class warship.

BrahMos cruise missiles have been adopted by India’s Army and the Navy's surface ships. The Indian Air Force has also ordered a batch of land-based missiles. Work is also underway to adapt the missile to Su-30MKI planes used by the Indian Air Force.

BrahMos is an acronym of the two rivers: Brahmaputra in India and Moskva in Russia.

When visiting the headquarters of the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Limited that makes supersonic cruise missiles, the chief of the Russian Army General Staff said that the joint venture made reliable missiles that have few matches in the world.

The joint venture has designed a new version of the supersonic cruise missile of the same name that can be launched from submarines.

The missiles are intended for use aboard the Scorpion-type submarine, for which the Indian Navy has placed orders in France.

The Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos has designed a new version of the supersonic cruise missile of the same name that can be launched from submarines.

The BrahMos missile has a flight range of up to 290 kilometres and is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kilograms. The missile can cruise at a maximum speed of 2.8 Mach.