Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hypersonic Brahmos Missile to be Ready by 2017

The first prototype of a hypersonic cruise missile being jointly developed by Russia and India will be ready for flight testing in 2017, CEO of the Russian-Indian joint venture Brahmos Aerospace, Sivathanu Pillai, said on Wednesday.
Russia and India have recently agreed to develop hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5-Mach 7.
“I think we will need about five years to develop the first fully-functional prototype [of the hypersonic missile],” Pillai said at an engineering technology forum near Moscow.
“We have already carried out a series of lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach,” he said.
Pillai said that the new missile will be made in three variants – ground-launched, airborne, and sea-launched.
The official said the new missiles will be supplied only to India and Russia, without exports to third countries.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, a Russian-Indian joint venture currently manufactures BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26).
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs). It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.
The flight tests of the airborne version will be completed by the end of 2012.
The Indian Air Force is planning to arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles.

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