A successful maiden launch of the Extended Range Version of BrahMos Air Launched was carried out by India on Thursday, which saw the missile set off from the Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter Sukhoi-30 MKI achieving a direct hit on a target located in the Bay of Bengal.
While the Air Launched version of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile has been tested multiple times in the recent past, the latest was the first of the Extended Range Version, which is said to have capability of striking the targets located 350 kilometers away compared to around 290 kilometers in the initial version.
“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 an Extended Range version of BrahMos missile from Su-30MKI aircraft,” said a statement from the Ministry of Defence.
“With this, the IAF has achieved the capability to carry out precision strikes from Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft against land or sea targets over very long ranges. The dedicated and synergetic efforts of the IAF, Indian Navy, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), BAPL (Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd) and HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) have proven the capability of the nation to achieve this feat. The extended range capability of the missile coupled with the high performance of the Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF a strategic reach and allows it to dominate the future battlefields,” said the statement.
First test of the initial version of the Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile was conducted in 2017, making it a significant addition to the IAF’s operational capabilities from stand-off ranges.
Stand-off range missiles are those which are launched at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking party to evade defensive fire expected from the target area. For the firing of Brahmos from Sukhoi-30 MKI, the missile is gravity dropped from the fuselage of the fighter jet, and the two-stage missile’s engine is then fired up and it propels towards the intended target at the sea.
Brahmos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft, which has been modified by HAL to carry these weapon systems.
A combination of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva (in Russia) rivers, BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.