In a major boost to the firepower of the Indian Air Force, a new lighter version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles will be integrated into the frontline fighter jets of the IAF, i.e. the Sukhoi 30 MKIs. This will not only make the IAF battle ready, but also thwart any possible counter attacks by the enemy forces, keeping in mind the double threat posed by Pakistan and China.
For those unaware, BrahMos missiles are supersonic cruise missiles created in a joint collaboration by India and Russia. BrahMos-NG, which will be currently integrated into the IAF, is a newer, lighter version of the same that will not only meet IAF’s future requirements, but will also act as a tough deterrent to any nefarious plans of the rival forces.
With a range of 290 kms., and a speed of 2.9 mach, which can be extended to a maximum speed of 3.5 mach, the BrahMos NG missile has already been successfully test fired from an IAF Sukhoi 30-MKI. According to media reports, India is all set to integrate 5 such next generation missiles, giving IAF unmatched fire power. Initially, this will be integrated on the light combat aircraft, HAL Tejas, and subsequently, the missiles shall be formally inducted into the arsenal of the IAF Sukhoi fighter jets.
To quote Sudhir Mishra, CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace, “The new BrahMos NG missiles will provide future-ready air dominance to the Indian Air Force. The design and development of the BrahMos NG is being done by the DRDO. While some technology will come from Russia, since the BrahMos is an Indo-Russian Joint venture, the new BrahMos NG will large be a Make in India product. The cost of the new BrahMos will be half that of the existing missile.”
This is not all. What makes BrahMos-NG absolutely unique is the fact that this missile is also capable of neutralizing the threats posed by the AWACS [Airborne Warning and Controlling system], transportation and refueling facilities of the enemy aircrafts. This is big, since India refuses to deviate from its current stance against the menace of terrorism. With that, BrahMos-NG will give India a firing capability of ‘Beyond the Visual Range’. As such, the induction of such missiles will be extremely useful in conducting lethal, cross border surgical strikes without any hassle.
To be honest, such advancements were long due for the Indian Air Force. The move made by DRDO under the Central Government was the need of the hour and one can hope that the IAF will continue to protect our borders from any sort of external threat.