Friday, August 27, 2010

India nearly ready with air-to-land supersonic cruise missile

An air-to-land supersonic missile was almost ready, A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture, said today.

"All the modifications have been completed. We are now in the process of readying with the missile," he told reporters here. This air-to-land supersonic missile "very precisely" attacks the target, he added.

But he said the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, in which it is planned to be fitted, needed to be modified and this process is expected to take two years.

Since this BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is "heavier" and "elaborate", the Sukhois, which could carry other weapons, needed to be modified "exclusively" for BrahMos, including in the context of pilot's console and "mission computer should take the (extra) load" and interface issues.

"In the next two years, we are planning to complete these modifications. By 2012 we will be in a position to carry out the flight (with this missile)," Pillai said.

Under the programme, two Sukhoi-30 MKIs would be modified initially. Initial test flights would be conducted in Russia and the "actual" test flights thereafter in India. These missiles would be inducted by the IAF "after 2012".

Meanwhile, Pillai also said the BrahMos missile is capable of launching from underwater and "it can go against ship target and land target".

"We have to prove it from under water. We are planning to conduct tests from under water in the near future. Once it's successful, it will get into submarine," he said.

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