India, today successfully fired the Extended Range Version of BrahMos Air Launched missile from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The launch from the aircraft was as planned and the missile achieved a direct hit on the designated target in the Bay of Bengal region. It was the first launch of Extended Range version of BrahMos missile from Su-30MKI aircraft. With this, the IAF has achieved the capability to carry out precision strikes from Su-30MKI aircraft against a land/ sea target over very long ranges. The dedicated and synergetic efforts of the IAF, Indian Navy, DRDO, BAPL and HAL have proven the capability of the nation to achieve this feat.
The BrahMos (also designated as PJ-10) is a medium-range stealthy ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft or land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It is a joint-venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
It is the world’s fastest Anti-Ship Cruise Missile currently in operation. The Land-launched and Ship-launched versions are already in service.An Air-launched variant of BrahMos appeared in 2012 and entered service in 2019. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7–8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It was expected to be ready for testing by 2024. Its propulsion is based on the Russian missile, and missile guidance has been developed by BrahMos Aerospace. The missile is expected to reach a total order of US$13 billion.
The BrahMos-A is a modified air-launched variant of the missile with a range of 500 km which can be launched from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI as a standoff weapon. To reduce the missile’s weight to 2.55 tons, many modifications were made like using a smaller booster, adding fins for airborne stability after launch, and relocating the connector. It can be released from the height of 500 to 14,000 metres (1,640 to 46,000 ft). After release, the missile free falls for 100–150 metres, then goes into a cruise phase at 14,000 metres and finally the terminal phase at 15 metres. IAF plans to procure 200 BrahMos-A missiles.