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    This handout photograph released by the Indian Air Force on May 22, 2019 and taken at an undisclosed location in 2017 shows a BrahMos air to surface cruise missile being launched from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft

    India Test Fires Air Launched Version of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

    © AFP 2019 / Handout / INDIAN AIR FORCE
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    The 2.5-ton air-launched version of the BrahMos (BrahMos-A) missile, named after India's Brahmaputra River and Russia's Moskva River, has an operational range of around 300 km. It can be dropped from 500 to 14,000 metres.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday successfully test fired the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, developed jointly by India and Russia for its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter jet.

    It is the second test of a BrahMos missile after the IAF became the first air force in the world to have successfully fired a 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target on 22 November 2017.

    READ MORE: India to Test Fire Air-Launched BrahMos-A Supersonic Cruise Missile Soon

    "The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the land target", the IAF, which had postponed the test due to a cyclone in April, said.

    The IAF stated that the firing could be successfully undertaken with dedicated support from the Indian Navy by way of ensuring the availability of a large number of monitoring ships to guarantee safety clearance for the range.

    Sources said that the missile will undergo final developmental or certification trials in the third quarter of 2019. The missile will be inducted into the IAF in 2020 following two certified launches against a naval and a ground target.

    The IAF emphasised that the air version of the BrahMos missile provides a much desired capability "to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions". 

    READ MORE: India Shows New-Gen Air-Based BrahMos Missile Prototype at Aero India Exhibition

    The missile weighs 2.55 tons in comparison to the ground-launched version weighing 3.2 tons. It is 50 cm shorter than the 8.4 m length of the ground-launched variant. The BrahMos-A variant is fitted with a new ignition system to facilitate launch at high altitudes.

    The Indian government cleared a $1.5 billion proposal in 2012 to procure over 200 air-launched versions of the missile, which included money to be spent on integration and testing of the missile with the Su-30 MKI.

    Related:

    Range of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile to Be Increased to About 310 Miles
    India Shows New-Gen Air-Based BrahMos Missile Prototype at Aero India Exhibition
    Indian Shipyard to Deliver Two Russian Designed Frigates With BrahMos by 2026
    India Setting Up Coastal Battery for BrahMos Missile in Bay of Bengal
    Tags:
    air launched, successful test, cruise missile, Su-30MKI, BrahMos Aerospace Limited, India, Russia
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