OneIndia Special: BrahMos to be fired from Sukhoi by year end

Written by: Dr Anantha Krishnan M
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Bengaluru, Aug 10: The air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will be test-fired from a modified Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI) fighter during the end of this year. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) officials had earlier told OneIndia that the test will be held during March 2015.

[Read: Sukhoi to fire 1st BrahMos missile in March: HAL]

Speaking to OneIndia recently, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Kumar Mishra said that post electrical and mechanical integration of the launcher, it is now being put through a series of quality tests.

Sukhoi 1

"We have received the first modified Sukhoi from HAL in February and the aircraft undertook some flights fitted with the launcher. It has to carry the missile weighing around 2.5 tonnes. Currently, the launcher is undergoing stringent QTs (quality tests)," Sudhir Kumar said.

A challenging task for HAL's Nasik Division

HAL had handed over the first BrahMos missile-integrated Sukhoi to the Indian Air Force (IAF) during Aero India 2015.
HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju had termed the event as a proud moment for the Company.

"The successful completion of the first Su 30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF. We are hopeful of rolling out the second aircraft in a record time," Raju had told OneIndia during Aero India.
Integrating the missile was a challenging task for HAL's Nasik Division. Right from the project inception in 2010, HAL had to overcome several difficulties due to limited design data of Su-30 MkI available with them.

Sukhoi 2

Limited tests ahead of induction

"The avionics standards are so different for such a complex programme. We don't have the luxury to test too many missiles. I am confident the missile will be ready for test by the end of this year," Mishra said.

BrahMos air variant will be ready for induction into the IAF possibly after one or two test-firings.

Second Sukhoi too getting ready

"We want to complete all simulation tests as planned ahead of test-firing the missile. Second aircraft is also getting ready," Mishra said.

As per the contract, both Sukhois will have to be kept ready ahead of test-firing the BrahMos missile. The IAF will have the choice of picking one aircraft ahead of the mission or the maiden test-firing.

The crucial part during the forthcoming mission is the home-grown launcher. Designed by BrahMos Aerospace, it is being manufactured by BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited (BATL).

Meanwhile, as reported by OneIndia, BrahMos Aerospace decided to name the next-generation hypersonic version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile after former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.

[Read: OneIndia Special: Hypersonic BrahMos missile named after Dr Abdul Kalam]

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)

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