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Delivery of air-launched BRAHMOS to Indian Air Force in 2016: CEO


Artistic illustration of BRAHMOS-A being launched from Su-30MKI. A BNS photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): BrahMos Aerospace will begin delivery of the air-launched version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system to the Indian Air Force (IAF) by 2016, the JV Company's new Chief Sudhir Kumar Mishra has said.

"The missile development is going on schedule. Its launch from the Su-30MKI fighter will be carried out by the year end, and the deliveries will start in 2016," the newly-appointed CEO & MD of the Indo-Russian company was quoted as saying by the Itar-Tass news agency.

The air-launched version of BRAHMOS will arm the IAF's frontline Su-30MKI supersonic fighters.

The air version of BRAHMOS will be lighter than its other variants and will weigh 2.5 tonne, though it would be equally potent in firepower and devastating capability as its range and maximum speed of 290-km and 2.8 Mach respectively will remain unchanged.

Carrying a warhead of up to 300 kg, the missile would be able to intercept surface targets as low as 10m in altitude.

The long-range Su-30MKI heavy fighter armed with BRAHMOS missile will penetrate deep inside the enemy territory to deliver a deadly blow to their vital installations from stand-off ranges without getting close to them.

India has placed orders for a total of 272 Su-30MKI fighters with Russia, deliveries of which are expected to be completed by 2018-2019.

While Russia has delivered 50 of the fighters, India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is licence-producing the remaining warplanes domestically.

India produces up to 60 - 70% of component parts for the Su-30MKI fighter, according to the Itar-Tass report.

Meanwhile, India hopes to sign an agreement on a smaller version of BRAHMOS with Russia before the end of this year, Mishra said.

"It will take about three years to develop the new missile to be named BRAHMOS-M (BrahMos-Mini). Its various versions will be used by the Army, the Air Force and the Navy," he told the Russian news agency.

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