India has for the first time fired a BrahMos missile from a Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 plane, with the country’s Defense Ministry claiming the air-launch a success. The missile’s developer said it “can be a game changer for any air force in the world.”
A modified Su-30MKI fighter jet took off from Kalaikunda Airbase in West Bengal state and hit a decommissioned boat in the Bay of Bengal Wednesday.
Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the military and the missile developers at BrahMos Aerospace, calling it “an outstanding achievement.”
Missile test-firings from planes are considered a risky affair, with dozens of aircraft destroyed around the globe during such trials.
The test signals that the BrahMos missile is now ready for induction into the Indian Air Force, a high-ranked government official told the Hindustan Times. India plans to equip at least two Su-30 squadrons – consisting of 18 planes – with the cruise missiles.
The BrahMos missile is a joint Indian-Russian project, and named after the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers in the two countries.
The supersonic cruise missile is the fastest in the world in its class currently in operation, being able to reach a speed of Mach 3.0, three times the speed of sound.
It has a range of 290 kilometers and weighs 2.5 tons, and is the heaviest piece of ammunition ever carried by a Su-30.