In a major shot in the arm for the defence forces, India on Wednesday successfully test fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet, officials said.

According to reports, the fighter jet took off from an air force base in West Bengal and fired the missile against a target over the Bay of Bengal.

The air force version of 8.4-meter BrahMos missile, fastest in the world, has a strike range of 290 km and carries a conventional warhead up to 300 kg.

BrahMos Aerospace, the joint venture between India and Russia, plans to conduct two tests from the Su-30 MKI.

The Indian Army had in May successfully test-fired the advanced BrahMos Block III land attack cruise missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The supersonic cruise missile can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.

BrahMos Block-III is a joint Russian-Indian project, which is based on Russian P-800 Oniks missile. Block III had advanced guidance and upgraded software, incorporating high manoeuvres at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude.

It is jointly developed by India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPOM.

The land attack version of the missile has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007. The missile had a range of 290 km initially, which was increased to 450 km this year after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The fire-and-forget BrahMos has the capability to take on surface-based targets by flying a combined hi-lo trajectory, thus evading enemy air defence systems.

Inclusion of the powerful weapon system in the Indian Army has given it a distinct operational advantage to knock down any enemy target even in the most difficult and hidden terrains.

The missile has a Mach 2.8 speed.