Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed delight over the successful maiden test flight of Brahmos cruise missile from an Air Force jet.
“Delighted on the successful maiden test firing of Brahmos air-launched cruise missile from Su-30MKI Congratulations to all those associated with this remarkable feat,” he tweeted.
In a major milestone, a Brahmos missile was successfully test fired for the first time from the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet.
The armed forces are now capable of launching the Brahmos, which has a strike range of around 290 km and is described as the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, from land, sea and air, completing the tactical cruise missile triad for the country.
India on Wednesday successfully test fired the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile Brahmos from a Sukhoi-30 combat jet for the first time, bolstering the precision strike capability of its air force.
As per Defence Ministry the test firing against a target in the Bay of Bengal reflected the capability of the armed forces to launch the weapon from air, apart from land and sea, completing the cruise missile triad for the country.
The IAF said it became the first air force in the world to successfully launch a surface attack missile of this category and that the weapon provided it a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target in sea or land with “pinpoint accuracy” in all weather conditions.
“The capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30 aircraft gives the IAF a strategic reach and allows it to dominate the ocean and the battle fields,” the IAF said.
The successful test firing of the 2.5 ton missile, which flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km, paved the way for its induction into the IAF.
The range of the missile, an Indo-Russia joint venture, can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year.
“Brahmos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile created history today after it was successfully flight-tested for first time from the IAF’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
It said the successful maiden test firing of Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the “Team Brahmos” and the scientists at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the “historic achievement”.
Giving details of the test firing, the ministry said the missile was “gravity dropped” from the Su-30 fuselage, and the two stage missile’s engine fired up and straightway propelled towards the intended target at the sea.
Brahmos ALCM, weighing 2.5 ton, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft modified by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to carry weapons.
The IAF said the integration of the missile on the aircraft was very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications of the Su-30 jet.
“The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target,” said the IAF. The missile was fired by the test crew comprising Wg Cdr Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr KP Kiran Kumar.
Brahmos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
Dr S Christopher, Chairman of DRDO, congratulated the scientists and engineers for the “excellent text book kind of flight test”.
The missile test was witnessed by Dr Sudhir Mishra, Director General (BrahMos), along with senior IAF officials, scientists and officials from DRDO and BrahMos.