Indian Su-30MKI fighter increased BrahMos ASM range to 450km
NEW DELHI ($1=82.75 Indian Rupees) — The backbone of the Indian Air Force, the indigenous Su-30MKI fighter jet will operate the extended-range BrahMos air-to-surface missile. TASS reports that the Indians have increased the range of the missile to 450 km. India conducted tests on December 30 that confirmed the increased range.
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The tests were carried out over the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Air Force said. During their conduct, an Indian Su-30MKI fired a BrahMos missile and hit a target ship at a distance of 450 km. A press release issued by the IAF Command said that India’s Su-30-built air fleet is getting a combat advantage in future operations. “The increased range of the missile, combined with the superior performance of the Su-30MKI, gives the Air Force a strategic advantage,” the statement said.
A BrahMos missile launched from an aircraft weighs 2,500 kg. The missile is capable of carrying both a conventional and a nuclear warhead. The warhead of the missile weighs between 200 kg and 300 kg. In addition to being launched from an aircraft, the BrahMos missile has been developed in ship-launched and land-launched versions. The range is different depending on the platform from which the missile is launched. From ship and land launch BrahMos hits targets up to 500 km.
BrahMos has two stages during its flight. At the moment of launch is stage 1, in which the rocket is powered by a solid rocket booster running on solid fuel. The second stage involves the activation of the liquid rocket ramjet, which accordingly consumes liquid fuel.
BrahMos is not an entirely Indian missile. It is a joint development between Russia and India. Participants in the joint production are the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization [DRDO] and the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya. The first flight of the missile was in 2001. Since then till today, India has inducted BrahMos into its three main forces – Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Tests of the latest version – air-to-ground with extended range – began at the latest. The first test of this missile launched from an aircraft took place in the first quarter of the year – in April. Then the missile reached the target just over 400 km.
BrahMos also has an export version, the range of which reaches a maximum of 290 km. Apart from India, the Philippines is the other operator of BrahMos missiles. Manila decided to acquire only one of the three versions of the missile – the ship-launched or anti-ship missiles.
Although the missile has really good performance, perhaps the scope of the export variant is a hindrance to bigger sales to other countries. The potential customers at the moment are those already mentioned here – Russia and the Philippines. The Philippines is interested in land-launched BrahMos. However, if Russia decides to acquire either type of missile, it will receive those intended for the domestic market.
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