The joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace is planning to develop a lighter version of its missile but with similar operational characteristics, BrahMos co-director Alexander Maksichev told Sputnik.
“We now want to make a missile with the same characteristics but of a smaller size. This work is planned. If it is smaller, then it will probably be on Sukhoi planes, and if it fits Tejas [Indian single-engine multirole light fighter], then it will be just wonderful,” he said on the sidelines of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021 outside Moscow.
The current version of BrahMos weighs 2.5 tonnes, which is “a fairly large missile,” Maksichev noted.
Speaking of the process of equipping the Indian air force’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters with BrahMos cruise missiles, Maksichev said that the tests were completed back in 2019.
“We have a serial order. We supply serial missiles for aircraft. The aircraft have also been prepared [to be equipped with cruise missiles] … Everything goes as planned. A squadron called Tiger Sharks has been formed. Training and launches are underway. And successful launches,” he said.
The executive recalled that the BrahMos missiles have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles).
“We even had a test when a jet took off from the west coast, flew all over India, refuelled, launched a missile and returned … It launches a missile without entering the enemy counteraction zone. This is the most important thing. This increases the combat survivability of the aircraft. Plus the missile itself is very powerful and highly effective,” he added.
Earlier in the year during Aero India 2021, Maksichev had stated that – “Russian-Indian company BrahMos Aerospace is considering a possibility of creating a lightweight version of the Brahmos for the Tejas fighter. We will inform you as soon as everything is ready.”
“Our missile has adapted well to the Su-30, and now the new Indian Tejas jet is under consideration as a carrier of our missile. Therefore, there is a wish of the Indian side to adapt the missile,” he explained.
BrahMos Aerospace, established in 1998, specializes in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems.