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India, Russia initiate work on BRAHMOS-Mini

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A scaled-down model of BRAHMOS-Mini on display during "Aardhik Diwas" celebration in New Delhi in June 2013. A Brahmand photo

KUALA LUMPUR (BNS): Scientists from India and Russia have started working on the miniature variant of the world-class BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system which could be deployed on different platforms, a top official has said.

"BrahMos Aerospace is working to reduce the weight of the (BRAHMOS) missile so that it could be integrated with different platforms, including the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) India is developing in partnership with Russia," Company CEO & MD Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai said on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia (DSA) show at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"We are faced with the challenge of reducing the rocket's mass, so that it can be integrated with a variety of platforms," he told Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

Besides the FGFAs, the MiG-29K naval fighters onboard the Indian Navy's newly-commissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya would also be able to carry the BRAHMOS-Mini missiles.

"The commissioning of the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier complete with deck-based MiG-29K/KUB jet fighters required accelerated work to arm them with a smaller version of the BRAHMOS missile so that the aircraft could take off from the carrier with two missiles under their wings," Dr. Pillai said.

He further added that while the FGFA and MiG-29K could be armed with two BRAHMOS-Ms each, the Su-30MKI strike fighter of the Indian Air Force will be able to carry three such missiles.

The new smaller, compact variant of BRAHMOS is expected to be 6 metres long and have a diameter of 0.5 metres. It will be able to travel at a top speed 3.5 Mach and carry a payload of up to 300 kg over a maximum distance of 290 km.

The first launch of BRAHMOS-M is expected to take about three years, Dr.Pillai said.

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