Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu, along with a high-level delegation, visited the headquarters of BrahMos Aerospace Headquarters in New Delhi today (21.01.2015.)
The Minister was briefed on the progress made by the interface of BrahMos air version with Su-30MKI, with the first test launch expected in March 2015. HAL Nasik Division, which is being mandated to undertake the missile integration work on the Sukhoi, had recently conducted the critical Ground Vibration Test (GVT).
BrahMos Aerospace has been successfully delivering BrahMos weapon systems to the Indian Armed Forces since 2005. The Indian Army has operationalised the supersonic cruise missile system in its arsenal and further orders are in pipeline. Indian Navy has installed the universal weapon system on its destroyers and frigates, and many of its newly-built frontline warships will be fitted with BrahMos in the coming years. The Indian Air Force has also placed orders for land and air-launched version of BrahMos for Su-30MKI aircraft. The 290-km range tactical missile is slated to be test-flown this year in its air-to-ground configuration.
So, what is BRAHMOS:
Brahmos is two stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and than gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features.
- Surface-launched, Block I
- Ship-launched, anti-ship variant (operational)
- Ship-launched, land-attack variant (operational)
- Land-launched, land-attack variant (operational)
- Land-launched, anti-ship variant (In induction, tested on 10 December 2010)
- Surface-launched, upgraded variants
- BrahMos Block II land-attack variant (Operational)
- BrahMos Block III land-variant (being inducted)
- Anti-aircraft carrier variant (tested in March 2012) – the missile gained the capability to attack aircraft carriers using the supersonic vertical dive variant of the missile that could travel up to 290 km.
- Air-launched, anti-ship variant (under development)
- Air-launched, land-attack variant (under development)
- Air-launched, miniaturised variant (under development)
- Submarine-launched, anti-ship variant – Tested successfully for the first time from a submerged pontoon on 20 March 2013.
- Submarine-launched, land-attack variant
The missile has flight range of up to 290km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.
It operates on `Fire and Forget Principle`, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15km and terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters. It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.
Compared to existing state-of-art- subsonic cruise missiles, BRAHMOS has:
– 3 times more velocity
– 2:5 to 3 times more flight range
– 3 to 4 times more seeker range
– 9 times more kinetic energy
Brahmos air-launched version is getting ready to be soon test-flown from Su-30MKI fighter of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
The development work related to the Air launch version of the missile is complete. Work has begun with Sukhoi design bureau, HAL, and the IAF for interface requirements and installation of Brahmos on Su-30MKI. Integration of the air-launched version of Brahmos is currently at an advanced stage.
Two aircraft have beed earmarked by the IAF for the initial launch trials which will commence from 2014. onwards, so that the induction can start in this year. Installations on other aircraft will depend on user requirements.
Su-30MKI has max. speed of 2 Mach with a single in-flight range of 5200km. A total of 8.000kg payloads can be carried by it in a maximum altitude of 17km.