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IAF to increase Sukhois armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

Published: 6th Oct, 2022

IAF to increase Sukhois armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missile


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to increase the number of Sukhoi 30 (SU-30) MKI fighters integrated with BrahMos supersonic missile, which now has a range of over 500 kilometres.


About BrahMos Missile

  • The BrahMos is a ramjet supersonic cruise missile of a short-range developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM).
  • It is named after two major rivers of India and Russia: Brahmaputra and Moskva.
  • The use of BrahMos missiles forland as well as anti-ship attacks. 
  • They can be launched from land, air and sea, and all three variants are in service in the Indian armed forces.
  • It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) missile.
  • It operates on the "Fire and Forgets" principle i.e. it does not require further guidance after launch.
  • BrahMos missiles are manufactured in India under a joint venture that was formed in 1998 between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya.

The Sukhoi 30 (SU-30) MKI fighter Jets

  • The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a twinjet multirole air superiority fighterdeveloped by Russia's Sukhoi and built under licence by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • A variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, it is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter.
  • The first Russian-made Su-30MKI variant was accepted into the Indian Air Force in 2002, while the first Su-30MKI assembled in India entered service with the IAF in 2004.
  • The IAF has nearly 260 Su-30MKIs in inventory as of January 2020.
  • The Su-30MKI is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force's fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond.

The IAF currently has 40 SU-30 MKI with BrahMos, the only supersonic cruise missile in the world.

Significance of collaboration of both

  • The range of the BrahMos missile was 290 km earlier; it has been extended to over 500 km.
  • The land-launched BrahMos has a range of about 400 kilometres and work is also to increase its range to 800 and 1,500-km.
  • Given the Su-30s’ maritime strike capability, the IAF had made this move with an eye on increasing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

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