SOURCE: RAJU GAEKWAD / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Many Western Defence Analysts were surprised when India announced that it will integrate 2.5 tonne Brahmos Cruise missile with Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets. Their ignorance was largely based need for India to take all the trouble of integrating such a heavy cruise missile which requires extensive structural modification to the aircraft when it can buy similar Air-to-Surface launched Cruise missiles with a similar range from friendlier countries with ease.
While India is yet to test fire a BrahMos-A from Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets but it has already created excitement among all Sukhoi-30 operators, which has lead to many countries already asking India about procuring such system and also closely monitoring its developmental progress and even Russian Air force to has shown interest in acquiring Brahmos-A for their Sukhoi-30SM fleet.
Brahmos-A ER with 600 to 800 km will no doubt will be game changer weapon systems not only in launching attacks deeper in the enemy territories but also in the Indian ocean. Sukhoi-30MKI equipped with Brahmos-A ER on Maritime Combat patrols will be a serious threat to Surface Naval fleet of Pakistan and China.
A barrage of Brahmos-A ER on larger Surface Naval platforms like Aircraft carriers and landing ships can easily cripple and completely destroy aggressive platforms in the region.
Brahmos-A which is an Air-to-Surface missile measuring 8.5m long with a launch weight of 2550 kg, speed of it stands at 750 m/s (Mach 2.5) and it has a range of 290km. Su-30MKI can carry one missile under its belly.Indian Defence Ministry is expected to order upgrade of about 40 IAF Su-30MKI fighters to be armed by Brahmos-A.
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