Tucked away in a corner of the stall displays is one of the most interesting products at Aero India 2017- a pneumatic ejection system for the Brahmos missile air version whose maiden test launch from an Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI jet is planned this year.
The nearly three feet long device is to be fitted inside the launcher developed by BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited (BATL), a subsidiary of BrahMos Aerospace. “Its job is to eject the missile on a command from the pilot”, explained an executive of Nucon Aerospace, a medium size Hyderabad-based firm specializing in aviation and missile sub-systems and parts which has developed the ejection system.
The pneumatic ejections system’s most important component is a canister holding air at a pressure of 30 bars, he explained adding that the system had been tested and certified by the Center for military airworthiness and certification (CEMILAC), based in Bangalore.
He said Brahmos Aerospace had ordered some 60 odd numbers of the ejection system indicating that the air-launched Brahmos program was in the full-steam-ahead mode. He however declined to give his name stating that he was not authorized to talk to the media.
However, an executive of Brahmos Aerospace admitted that Nucon Aerospace was building the pneumatic missile ejection system but could not confirm the numbers ordered. Pointing out to the launcher that was displayed at the Brahmos stand, he explained where the ejection system would be fitted and also added that the aircraft would have two different types of missile ejection systems- one main and another for back-up in case the first one fails.
The launch of the air-launched Brahmos missile is one the most eagerly awaited missile trails, not just in India but also internationally as no other cruise missile worldwide can travel at Mach 2.5 plus speed, effectively making it immune to anti-missile systems.
Besides Brahmos Aerospace the project involves Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). During the missile’s successful dummy test held in June last year, HAL had said that 40 Sukhoi fighters would be modified to integrate the air version of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos. HAL chairman T S Raju had been quoted as saying, “it’s an engineering marvel in the aviation history of India. It proves that when all agencies come together with one mission, there is nothing impossible.”
The first modified Su-30MKI capable to carrying the 2.5 tone missile in its underbelly had been handed over to Brahmos Aerospace by HAL during Aero India 2015.