The Indian Air Force will flight test BrahMos supersonic cruise missile this year aboard the modified Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter.
“The Nasik division of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has completed the modification of Su-30 MKI for carrying BrahMos missiles. We are planning to test the missile this year itself once it has been integrated to the fighter,” Sudhir K Mishra, CEO and managing director of Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL), was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express today.
“It will take about four to five months to complete the instrument flight test, the dummy test and the actual flight,” Mishra added.
Till now BAPL has handed over more than 100 BrahMos missiles to the 4th BrahMos missile regiment of the Army. “We are also looking at the possibility of raising the 5th and 6th BrahMos regiments,” Mishra said. Other plans, including fitting six ships of the Indian Navy with the 290-km missile, are on the anvil.
Last Wednesday, France reportedly agreed 'in principle' to India's request for a crucial internal guidance technology to be provided by French company Safran (Sagem) for the BrahMos missile. The French go-ahead came during a meeting between the French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian and visiting Indian Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh in Paris.
It is is not yet clear if the guidance system is for the land-launched Brahmos or the potential air launched version. However, Brahmos Aerospace has demonstrated mastery over land and sea-launched Brahmos missiles' targeting ability by conducting several test launches within a several meters accuracy of the target.
It is the area of air-launched missile that Bahmos Aerospace is in unfamiliar territory and the Safran guidance technology could be of help there.