Indian Su-30 MKI fires 2.5 ton BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

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BrahMos is the outcome of a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russian Federation under BrahMos Aerospace Limited (India holds a 50.5% share stake in the company and Russian Federation holds the other 49.5%).

It was believed that Brahmos is one of the heaviest missiles in the world to be integrated. The success of the test firing is a big step for Indian defence as it could help Indian Air Force conduct surgical strikes easily. "Smt @nsitharaman congratulates Team Brahmos & @DRDO_India for this historic achievement", she tweeted on Wednesday.

The IAF has conducted several tests of the BrahMos-A in 2016 and 2017, with two IAF Su-30 MKI fighters converted to launch the new 2.5-ton supersonic air-to-surface cruise missile so far.

The missile test was witnessed by Sudhir Mishra, Director General (BrahMos), and CEO and MD, BrahMos Aerospace, along with IAF officials, scientists and officials from DRDO and BrahMos.

According to The Times of India, the armed forces have already inducted the 290-kilometre range land and warship-based versions of the BrahMos missiles over the last decade.

Brahmos supersonic cruise missile being successfully test-fired in the Bay of Bengal.

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The IAF has signed a contract for the delivery of air-launched BrahMos cruise missiles from January 2018. Unlike a ballistic missile that mostly flies straight from the launch to the target, a cruise missile can be guided. The missile is first propelled by a solid propellant booster engine which takes it to supersonic speeds. BrahMos is also capable of being launched from submarine from a depth of 40-50 metres.

The BrahMos travels nearly three times faster than sound at Mach 2.8.

The fighter jet's aerodynamic configuration increases the aircraft's lifting effectiveness, deflects automatically and allows high angle-of-attack flights.

However, the missile was not launched directly from the aircraft, rather it was dropped from under its fuselage.

The objective was a Battle Practice Target (BPT) set up by the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal.

On Wednesday, the missile was sacked by the test crew comprising Wg Cdr Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr KP Kiran Kumar.

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