New Delhi (Sputnik) – India is all set to conduct the first test firing of the air version of the BhraMos missile, touted as the world’s deadliest supersonic cruise missile system, this week. The Indian Air Force will fire the missile from its frontline fighter jet Su-30MKI at one of the air bases located on the country’s eastern coast near the Bay of Bengal.
Defense sources told Sputnik that the all the pre-flight test have been concluded and the full profile BrahMos missile is ready to go for its maiden live firing from the Su-30MKI. Two Su-30MKI aircraft with modified bellies have been readied. While one will fire the test shot, the other will be kept on standby. Apart from design modifications, the missile’s weight has also been reduced by the manufacturer from 2.9 ton to 2.4 ton to integrate with the Su-30 MKI.
INDIA; 'Deadly combination': BrahMos missile to be tested from Sukhoi fighter jet for first time this week— Angela Alston (@1165R_alston) 14 ноября 2017 г.
The IAF has signed a contract for the delivery of air-launched BrahMos cruise missiles from January 2018. It is expected that more than a dozen trials including ground and naval target would be conducted from the fighter jet before the delivery commences.
Till now three, Su-30 MKI has been modified to accommodate the new cruise missile and in total it will modify at least 50 Su-30MKI aircraft to carry the nuclear-capable cruise missile. The IAF plans to induct at least 200 Bhramos-compatible fighter jets in the coming years.
Indian scientists tested the land version of the BrahMos missile in April this year when it hit the target at a distance of approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles) in the Bay of Bengal. The Indian Navy too is equipping all its ships the BrahMos missile system. Russia supplies 65% of the BrahMos' components, including its ramjet engine and radar seeker.