An air-to-air variant of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile would be inducted into the Indian Air Force by 2012, said A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer of BrahMos Aerospace and chief controller of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), here on Sunday.
Addressing media persons at the Chennai Science Festival, he said that BrahMos packs in nine times more destructive capacity than any other cruise missile of its class in the world. Much of the missile's blast impact is due to the high velocity that it achieves, which translates into high kinetic energy. Having the capability to travel at three times the speed of sound (Mach 3), it can cover a kilometre in a second. “Work has already commenced on designing a hypersonic missile in collaboration with Russia. It would be able to achieve speeds of Mach 7,” said Mr. Pillai. Delivering a talk on ‘Science in Indian defence' at the science festival, he took the audience, consisting largely of school students, on a tour of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). He gave a historical account of the reasons behind the development of the ballistic missile programme that consists of a battery of five missiles – Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and Nag.