12:00 AM, October 30, 2008
The IAF is scheduled to receive a shipment of modified Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles by 2012. "Trials and tests will be carried out by 2011, and it is expected to be inducted into the IAF by 2012," said Brahmos Airspace CEO, Dr Sivathanu Pillai. The jointly developed Indo-Russian Brahmos has already undergone testing by the army in a land attack configuration. The navy has also completed trial launches in various scenarios, including land-to-sea, sea-to-land and sea-to-sea. Indeed, the missile is slated for imminent deployment by both branches of the Indian military. As IT Examiner previously reported, the DRDO and Indian Air Force recently conducted a successful simulation that involved a Russian-manufactured missile. "First the MCLA, also known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was flown from the launching complex-II of the ITR. After making two laps it released a tow body, which was targeted by the missile fired from a Sukhoi-30 lifted up from Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal," said an anonymous defence official. The DRDO has also announced plans to manufacture missiles that are lighter and less costly than current indigenous models. An independent centre for composite testing and evaluation is being established at the Hyderabad-based Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), which was primarily responsible for designing the long-range Agni missile. Avinash Chander, director of the laboratory under DRDO, explained that the ASL already maintains a composites production centre (Comproc) responsible for the fabrication of lightweight missile material. However, Chander noted that the ASL wanted to make "all the stages of the Agni missile composite structured".