The Indian Air Force successfully test fired the BrahMos air version missile from its frontline Su-30 Mki fighter aircraft on Wednesday, May 22. The launch was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting a land target, the IAF said.

The IAF became the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired and air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target on 22 November, 2017 before basis a similar test fire as conducted.

The air launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5 tonne supersonic air-to-surface cruise missile with ranges of close to 300 km, designed and developed by BAPL. Wednesday’s test fire was the second such live launch of the weapon, thus far. The integration of the weapon on the aircraft was a very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications on the aircraft.

The firing couldn’t have been successfully undertaken without the dedicated support from the Indian Navy by way of ensuring availability of a large number of monitoring ships to ensure range safety clearance for the conduct.

The BrahMos missile provides the Indian Air Force a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint efficacy and accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions. The capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF the desired strategic defence outreach every time.

(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor)