Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace hopes to sign its first export contract to deliver BrahMos cruise missiles to an unidentified friendly country in the Asia-Pacific Region by the end of 2016. The announcement was made by BrahMos Aerospace spokesman Praveen Pathak, cited by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The compay further indicated that long-awaited trials of the air-launched version of the supersonic missile on a Su-30MKI would begin in one or two months and end in November-December 2016.
The first Su-30MKI fighter aircraft specially modified for flight testing of the 2.5t missile was handed over by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in February 2015. Flight trials, initially using a missile mockup, have been described as “imminent” ever since.
BrahMos — nowadays brandished as a shining example of “Make in India” — is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage and a liquid ramjet-powered second stage taking the missile to a cruise speed approaching Mach 3.
It is already in service with the Indian Army and Navy. The air-launched version features reduced weight and additional rear fins for aerodynamic stability during separation from the aircraft during launch.