The Indian Air Force is set to become the first to possess a cruise missile capable of breaking the sound barrier, with the successful integration of its Brahmos rockets with Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.
India will test fire the air-launched version of its Brahmos cruise missile, considered the world’s most formidable, in February next year. The 2.5 metric ton Brahmos air-to-ground missile will be fired from an IAF (Indian Air Force) Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft that has undergone modifications to accommodate the new weapon. A successful preliminary trial has already been carried out, and two more dummy trials are in the pipeline before the actual test, according to sources from the country's Defense Research Laboratory.
The successful integration of the Brahmos with the Sukhoi-30 MKI marks a paradigm shift in the capability of the Indian Air Force, enabling it to destroy vital enemy installations from stand-off ranges. It will allow the country's air force to attack targets protected by powerful air defense systems, within and beyond the pilot's visibility range.
An Indo-Russian joint venture between Brahmos Aerospace, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Indian Air Force has been working to achieve this technological feat, which will go down in history as the first time a supersonic cruise missile has been integrated for use with a long-range fighter aircraft.
Other countries with Sukhoi-30s have been keenly monitoring the development, as they hope to acquire missiles of their own to pair with the Russian-made warplanes.
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