The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will be test launched in early 2016 from a modified Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter.
The first flights with a launcher went well and expected the fighter’s first flight with an operational missile to take place by the end of this year, the head of Russian-Indian BrahMos Aerospace enterprise Sudhir Mishra said at the MAKS 2015 air show outside Moscow Today.
"After this, a test launch of a mock missile will be carried out, and then final testing with a regular missile from a plane. We hope that this will take place in the beginning of 2016," Mishra said.
The supersonic missile’s integration with the Su-30MKI multirole fighter would supply India with a long-range weapon without endangering the aircraft, The BrahMos chief executive said.
"After all, the Su-30 can fly with aerial refueling a distance of about 3,000 kilometers [over 1,800 miles], and the BrahMos’ long range allows to be launched from a safe distance," Mishra stressed. The missile's flight range is 180 miles.
The estimated $425-million supersonic missiles capable of flying at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3 (over 2,200 mph) are expected to be fitted in three Talwar-class frigates and three Delhi-class destroyers, all built in collaboration with Russia.
The Indian Air Forces planned to adopt the new BrahMos cruise missile, which can be launched from aircraft, in 2016, Mishra was quoted as saying in March.