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Indian Navy officials and representatives from BrahMos Aerospace are engaged in discussions regarding the potential integration of the BrahMos-NG Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) onto the underwing pylons of the P-8I aircraft. These discussions are taking place in anticipation of the developmental trials of the missile system, which are expected to commence by the end of next year, starting with the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft.

Sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that the P-8I aircraft will be capable of carrying four BrahMos-NG missiles under its wings, with each underwing pylon capable of supporting at least 1.3 tons, plus the adapter. However, further studies and evaluations, in collaboration with Boeing, are necessary to confirm the feasibility of effectively integrating the missile system onto the aircraft, taking into account its technical specifications and operational requirements.

Boeing’s P-8 series aircraft were originally designed to carry four AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched anti-ship missiles, along with five torpedoes, for offensive purposes. However, the AGM-84L Harpoon Block II is a subsonic anti-ship missile with a range of approximately 200km. In contrast, the BrahMos-NG Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, with its Mach 3.5 capability and a range of 290km, offers enhanced anti-ship warfare capabilities when integrated into the P-8I aircraft, providing greater flexibility to the warfighter.

The integration of the BrahMos-NG ALCM onto the P-8I aircraft would significantly bolster the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capabilities. The BrahMos-NG missile, a lighter and more compact variant of the original BrahMos missile, can be launched from various platforms and has the potential to deliver a significant punch against naval targets. Its integration into the P-8I aircraft would further enhance the aircraft’s versatility and its ability to effectively engage hostile naval assets.

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