New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Indian Air Force is going to augment its attack capability in near future by getting its own version of BrahMos, a supersonic cruise missile that will be fitted on Sukhoi 30-MKI.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which has already developed the land and sea version of the BrahMos in partnership with Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia, is working on the air version of the supersonic cruise missile for the Air Force.
"We have a time frame for development and trail of air version of BrahMos which is going on as per schedule," said Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and MD BrahMos Aerospace.
"By 2009 trails for the air version of BrahMos will start and it will be ready for induction in the Air Force by 2012," he added.
Dr. Pillai said modification need to be carried out on the Sukhoi 30-MKI to be used as a platform for BrahMos.
He pointed out that at present Sukhoi design bureau people are very busy with fifth generation aircraft, so "we have to wait for the availability and complete the design for trials from the aircraft.
Dr. Pillai was hopeful that difficulties related to the launch of air version of BrahMos will be overcome with flight test of the missile.
He also said that the BrahMos missile is going to play an important role in future wars because the Gulf War has shown a way to win a war through precision attack missile, especially the cruise missile.
BrahMos has the capability of attacking surface targets as low as 10 metres in altitude, can gain a speed of Mach 2.8, and has a maximum range of 290 km.
The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead.
It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fuelled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise.
The high speed of the BrahMos gives it better target-penetration characteristics than lighter subsonic cruise missiles. By Praful Kumar Singh