After Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first BrahMos-A missile integrated Su-30MKI aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Indian and Russian designers concentrated on creating the supersonic mini-BrahMos (BrahMos-M) missiles, meant to boost the defense capability of India’s Navy and Air Force.
“Su-30MKI has become a very lethal weapon delivery platform with the successful integration of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile,” emphasized HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju in an official statement on February 19, during the second day of Aero India show at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
Experts note that currently Su-30MKI aircraft can carry one deadly BrahMos missile, while initially it was expected the fighter jet would be equipped with three such cruise missiles. However, experts say that the missile is too big for a fighter jet.
BrahMos-A is a short-range supersonic cruise missile based on the Russian P-800 Oniks prototype. It can be launched from submarines, ships, aircrafts and land travelling at speed of Mach 3. The missile weighs about 2.5 tons is over 8.5 meters in length. However, designers underscore that the BrahMos-A is too heavy for IAF’s MiG-29K fighter jets; on the other hand Indian submarines’ missile launchers will require certain modernization to hold BrahMos-A.
So far, the creation of a new BrahMos-M will solve that problem. Developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), NPO Mashinostroyeniya of Russia and BrahMos Aerospace the new missile will have lighter weight and smaller diameter in comparison with BrahMos-A; equipped with a compact engine it will reach speeds of Mach 3.3 carrying a payload of 300 kilogram to a range of 300 kilometers. With a weight of 1.4-1.6 tons and a length of 6 meters the BrahMos-M will be a breakthrough, meeting the demands of Indian Navy and Air Force, serving as a “universal” weapon system, military experts emphasize. The missile will boost the military capability of Indian armed forces and bolster the country’s defense industry.
Reportedly, BrahMos Aerospace is planning to equip 18 IAF’s MiG-29K as well as submarines with 533-mm torpedo tubes with the innovative missiles. India’s 40 Su-30MKI will carry both BrahMos-A and BrahMos-M weapons. Military experts note that the new missile will provide New Delhi with a significant competitive advantage in the region, improving its geopolitical positions. Both India and Russia are considering large-scale BrahMos exports; furthermore, the countries have pledged to present the new hypersonic BrahMos version in the nearest future.