The joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace will re-arm the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters with its cruise missiles in two or three years from now, Alexander Maksichev, the company’s co-director, told Sputnik. BrahMos-A will significantly enhance the IAF’s strategic capacity to eliminate long-range targets in the Indian Ocean said the official.

State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) that originally manufactured Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters in India at its Nashik Plant already has developed Pair of Su-30MKI fighter jets that were used for developmental trials and now missile and aircraft have been cleared for the operational role and soon BrahMos-A Air launched Cruise missile (ALCM) will be enabled in more aircraft in next 2-3 years.

Each Su-30MKI cleared for BrahMos-A ALCM has gone through the strengthening of its airframe, particularly its underbelly weapons station, to carry the huge 2.5-ton Brahmos missile. Aircraft Upgrade R&D Centre (AURDC) in Nashik will be carrying out modification and certification of each Su-30MKI before it is handed over to IAF. HAL had carried out an independent feasibility study in 2014 and the modification work was later awarded to HAL after IAF HQ cleared HAL’s proposal over the Russian proposal due to cost factor.

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