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20:23 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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India to arm 40 Russian-built fighters with BrahMos missiles

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The Indian Air Force will arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles, the head of BrahMos Aerospace said on Wednesday.

The Indian Air Force will arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles, the head of BrahMos Aerospace said on Wednesday.

In an interview with RIA Novosti at the Defense Services Asia (DSA)-2010 exhibition, Sivathanu Pillai said that would make India's fleet of Russian-built fighters "absolutely unique" in firepower.

He said the first tests of BrahMos air-launched missiles were set for 2011, while the first fighter test flights with missiles on board are scheduled for late 2012.

The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs). It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.

Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace, a joint Indian-Russian venture, produces and markets BrahMos supersonic missiles. The sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (RIA Novosti)