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Plans on to fit BRAHMOS missile on Su-30MKI aircraft

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Supersonic BRAHMOS cruise missile on display. A File Photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Even as the IAF is grappling with its first Sukhoi mishap, India has decided to hold talks with Russia to fit BRAHMOS cruise missile on to the Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.

"The mishap will have no impact on our plans to equip the BRAHMOS on the Su-30 MKI. We are holding talks with Russians at the end of this month to discuss installation of BrahMos launcher on the heavy air superiority fighter," a Defence Ministry source told PTI here.

On April 30, a Pune-based Su-30 MKI crashed over the Pokharan range in Rajasthan after carrying out a routine firing sortie, killing the co-pilot, Wing Commander P.S. Narah.

After the incident, the IAF has kept its entire fleet of Sukhois on ground and is jointly investigating the cause behind the accident with Russian experts from the Sukhoi Corporation.

India has sent two of its Su-30 MKIs to Russia where the airframe of the aircraft will be modified to accommodate world's only supersonic cruise missile on the aircraft's under-fuselage.

The supersonic cruise missile, BRAHMOS, is developed jointly by India and Russia.

"The work is expected to be completed on the aircraft by early 2010 but we have not set any deadline yet for competing the programme," an official said.

The air version of the BrahMos will be nine metres long and once fitted,the missile move itself towards the target after being released from the aircraft by the pilot.

After being fitted on an aircraft, BRAHMOS will be the only cruise missile with the capability of being launched from land, sea and air.

The missile has already been inducted by the Army and the Navy.

With a range of 290 km, the missile has a capability of carrying 300 kg conventional warheads at a speed of around 2.8 Mach.Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to fit BRAHMOS cruise missile on to the Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft after a recent Sukhoi crash in Rajasthan.

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