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India test fires air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile again

Indian Army's BrahMos Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). (Anirvan Shukla/Wikimedia Commons)
December 22, 2021

India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently test-fired an air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, as part of its efforts to develop air-launched weapons.

India testes the airborne variant of the BrahMos cruise missile aboard the Indian Air Force’s frontline air superiority fighter jet, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur earlier this month.

The test saw the missile launched in a similar trajectory to previous launches. The missile was carried aboard a hardpoint on the aircraft’s belly hardpoint and, once launched, followed the pre-planned trajectory and all stages of supersonic cruise flight before striking the mock target.

According to an Indian Defence Ministry statement, the test successfully met all objectives of the weapon demonstration.

After the success of the test, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh applauded and praised DRDO officials, scientists involved with the BrahMos missile, and Indian Air Force officials and engineers responsible for the successful test firing.

The development, production and testing of this air-launched missile variant was supported by the Indian Air Force, various DRDO laboratories, academic institutions and public sector quality assurance and certification agencies.

The air version of BrahMos was last flight tested in July 2021. The two tests, in the span of less than a year, indicate the Indian military’s confidence in the system and an urgency to introduce this weapon to India’s frontline forces.

BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile is a Joint Venture between Indian DRDO and Russian NPOM agency for the development, production, and marketing of this weaponry. The missile is the most diversified weapon platform in India.

The BrahMos missile has already been employed as an offensive missile weapon system by the Indian Army and Navy. With the success of BrahMos-A, India can now field the missile in air, surface, and sea-launched variants.