Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been working on integrating BrahMos missile with the Su-30 MKI for quite some time. The efforts have paid well as the Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its first Su-30 MKI multi-role combat aircraft fitted with launcher.
The BrahMos is developed by BraHmos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. It is a supersonic stealth cruise missile designed for launch from land, ship, submarines, and air platforms. It can reach top speed of Mach 2.8. It uses solid propellant rocket-powered missile. The missile can fly as low as 10 meter and intercept surface targets. The missile is capable of flying in difficult mountainous terrain and hillocks.
The aircraft was handed over at Aero India 2015 – the exhibition at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
“The successful completion of the first Su 30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF” said HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju.
He further said: “We are hopeful of rolling out the second aircraft in a record time.”
The BrahMos integration programme was started in 2010. The challenge was taken up by HAL’s Nasik division and encountered several difficulties, among being the limited design data of Su-30 MKI.
The contract was awarded by BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) on techno-commercial merits against original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in January 2014.
“The successful completion of the first Su 30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF.”
A HAL official was quoted by The Times of India as saying: “As part of the project IAF eventually seeks to integrate 216 air-version missiles on 42 Sukhoi fighters.”
According to information provided by resources of HAL, the conservative timeline for integrating the second Su-30 MKI would be nearly 13 months.
Working in collaboration with IAF, the company made several changes in the aircraft, including modifications to the fuselage in the last few months, to accommodate the missile.
The aircraft is scheduled to conduct its first flight in March followed by second trial fighter jet testing. Trials are expected to be completed in around a year.