India to Arm 40 Su-30 Fighter Jets With BrahMos Cruise Missile By 2020

Di Vincenzo Santo*

(Da The Diplomat – 22 dicembre 2017)

New Delhi. India has kicked off the process of integrating the air-launched BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multirole air superiority fighter jets, according to local media reports. The retrofitting of the aircraft is expected to be completed by 2020, Indian Air Force (IAF) sources revealed. […] Up until now, only two IAF Su-30 MKI fighters have been converted to fire the new 2.5-ton supersonic air-to-surface cruise missile. Due to the size and weight of the BrahMos-A, each Su-30 MKI can only carry one missile in a transport launch canister. […] The BrahMos, a joint venture between India’s Defense Research Development Organization and Russian rocket design bureau NPO Mashinostroyeniya, “operates on a so-called fire and forget principle and can be dropped from 500 to 14,000 meters (1,640 to 46,000 feet),” […] “The missile’s terminal altitude is as low as ten meters. (The ship-launched anti-ship version of the BrahMos can fly 3-4 meters above the sea to avoid detection.) The BrahMos is capable of traveling at speeds of up to Mach 3.0, making it one of the world’s fastest cruise missiles.” […] There is also speculation that the BrahMos-A can be modified into a nuclear-capable missile. For its future role as the air component of India’s nuclear triad, the Su-30MKIs would need to be retrofitted with hardened electronic circuitry to withstand the electromagnetic pulses of a nuclear blast. […] “In total, the IAF is expected to receive 200 air-launched BrahMos-As in the coming years, with first deliveries likely to commence in January 2018,” I reported previously.

BrahMos, a joint venture between India’s Defense Research Development Organization and Russian rocket

 

*Generale CA ris

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