The Indian Air Force will start receiving BrahMos air-launched cruise missiles for about 50 Su-30MKI starting January next year.
"The Indian Air Force has signed a contract on the delivery of air-launched BrahMos cruise missiles from January 2018. The missiles are designed to arm about 50 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft modified for their use," BrahMos Aerospace Joint Venture Co-Director Alexander Maxichev was quoted as saying by TASS at the Dubai Airshow 2017 on Monday.
Final preparations for test firing of the Brahmos Cruise Missile from the belly of a Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft are being made for possible launch in late November.
"Some 20-30 hours of flying with the 2.5 ton missile strapped to the aircraft's underbelly besides a number of drop tests in varying conditions have been accomplished," Maxichev had told Defenseworld.net on Sunday.
The designated target will be a ship somewhere in the Bay of Bengal and the missile would be fired from a height of some 7000 meters-9000 meters, he said adding that preparations are in full swing for the first-ever firing of the cruise missile from the aircraft.
Two aircraft are being prepared of which one will fire the missile and the other will be on stand-by.
While the missile will be supplied by Brahmos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint-venture, the Su-30MKI aircraft are being provided by the Indian Air Force. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is doing the integration.
India’s Air Force has modified two Su-30MKI fighter jets for air-launched BrahMos cruise missiles by now. The upgrade of the other 48 aircraft will begin immediately after this missile is accepted for service.