Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced the successful first carriage flight of the air-launched BrahMos cruise missile on a Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft on Saturday.
The 45-minute flight, carried out from HAL Airport at Nashik, was flown by flight test crew of the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Wing Commander Prashant Nair and Wing Commander M.S. Raju.
HAL has modified two Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft to integrate the BrahMos with the aircraft, as part of a contract signed with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) in 2014.
A statement issued by HAL said, “Around 40 Su-30 MKI aircraft are expected to be modified.”
The statement quoted HAL’s CMD T. Suvarna Raju as saying, “It is a perfect example of Make in India and an engineering marvel in aviation history of India.” According to Raju, the modification and integration program was carried out HAL’s Nashik Division ‘and the required data was generated without the assistance of OEM for the modification’.
HAL’s statement also quoted BAPL CEO and MD Sudhir Kumar Mishra, as saying ‘It is the first time in the world that such a heavy weight (2500 kg) supersonic cruise missile has been integrated on fighter aircraft’.
The air-launched BrahMos manages reduction in volume and weight with removal of the booster in the land-based variant of the 290-kilometer range of the cruise missile, and would provide a comparatively significant edge in terms of target range to the IAF.