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Drop trials of BRAHMOS missile from Sukhoi-30 in Pokhran from Aug 24

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BRAHMOS-integrated Su-30MKI of the Indian Air Force. A Brahmand photo

JODHPUR: Drop trials for the formidable supersonic cruise missile system BRAHMOS from Su-30 MKI aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are slated from August 24-26 at the Pokhran firing range in Jaisalmer.

These drop trials will pave way for the real firing of BRAHMOS from the Russian made Su-30 by November last week or December first week. In fact, drop trials shall be conducted against land target and a sea target by the month end.

Shri Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO and MD, BrahMos Aerospace while speaking to TOI said that the drop trials for the air version of BRAHMOS would be carried with a Mass Dimensional Dummy missile which means that it will be similar to the real missile in terms of weight etc, but would not have any engine and explosives.

"Under rare circumstances due to factors like range requirement or weather, the land trials may also be conducted at Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off the Odisha coast," said the BrahMos chief, adding that these drop trials will check the release mechanism of the launcher in addition to assessing the clearance from the aircraft after the fire.

It was on June 25 that BrahMos Aerospace successfully demonstrated the integration flight of the supersonic cruise missile BRAHMOS on Su30-MKI frontline strike fighter of the IAF at HAL, Nasik. Success of drop trials would give a major fillip to the BRAHMOS air-launched flight test programme.

"And with that happening, the BRAHMOS air version programme would further inch closer towards actual test firing when a 2.5-ton BRAHMOS air-to-ground missile will be fired from the Sukhoi-30 in November or December," said Shri Mishra.

BRAHMOS and Indian Air Force

While the first squadron of IAF equipped with BRAHMOS is expected to be operational by April 2017, ambitious plans are in pipeline for raising three squadrons of BRAHMOS.

IAF would become the elite Air Force in the world to be in possession of a supersonic cruise missile on a long range aircraft. The powerful missile will enable the IAF penetrate deep inside the enemy territory to deliver a deadly blow to their vital installations from stand-off ranges.

The integration brings a paradigm shift in the capability of the IAF vis-a-vis its adversaries. The Su-30-BRAHMOS combination will carry out air combat operations within and beyond visibility range and will provide the IAF with the capability of attacking targets protected by powerful air defence assets.

Air version of BRAHMOS is 500-kgs lighter than its Army and Naval versions and has tail fins and other required aerodynamic features.

BRAHMOS and Army

The Indian Army which has already inducted three regiments of BRAHMOS in its arsenal has now got a nod for the fourth regiment to be equipped with steep dive BRAHMOS along Indo-China border in the North East. So far, all Army regiments are equipped with Block-III version of missile, which was recently tested on May 8 and 9 in 2015. The land-attack version of BRAHMOS has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007. The BRAHMOS has the capability to take on surface-based targets by flying a combined hi-lo trajectory, thus evading enemy air defence systems. Inclusion of the powerful weapon system in Indian Army has given it a distinct operational advantage to knock down any enemy target even in the most difficult and hidden terrains.

Source: The Times Of India

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