Monday, June 23, 2008

Sea, land and now air - BrahMos everywhere

Back in March I wrote that the air-to air version of the BrahMos is in its finishing stages. This stage is now over. RIA Novosti writes:

"For the airborne version...we had to reduce the mass of the missile and to ensure aerodynamic stability after its separation from the aircraft. The air-launched platform has its own initial speed during the launch of the missile, so we have reduced the size of the booster. Now the missile is ready," Sivathanu Pillai told RIA Novosti in an exclusive interview.

The BrahMos missile has a range of 180 miles (290 kms) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 660 pounds. It can hit surface targets while flying at an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and at a speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
India has chosen the Sukhoi-30MKI Flanker-H as platform for the BrahMos. Plans exist to produce at least 140 of these aircrafts by 2014 under a Russian license with full technology transfer.

RIA continues:
Experts estimate that India might purchase up to 1,000 BrahMos missiles for its Armed Forces in the next decade, and export 2,000 to third countries during the same period.
While earlier statements indicated that the airborne version for BrahMos is expected to be tested in 2009, the latest information did not contain any information in this direction.

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