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January 29, 2015

BrahMos to be integrated with Sukhoi by March


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is moving towards an indigenous missile era that will allow India to order surgical strikes destroying targets about 300km away. In a new feat, HAL has completed integration of BrahMos thermonuclear cruise missile with Sukhoi-30MKI after over two years of work, modifying the Russian-made aircraft.

HAL director S Subrahmanyan, who led the project, said the first test flight of the modified Su-30MKI with the BrahMos missile will be conducted in March. HAL chairman RK Tyagi confirmed crucial ground vibration test was completed late 2014.

"The initial requirement is for two Su-30MKIs with BrahMos. The first one will fly in March and we will take up the second one in line," Subrahmanyan said.

The project, first conceived in July-August 2012, seeks to integrate 216 air-version missiles with 42 Sukhoi fighters.

A retired Air Marshal told TOI: "All our fighters have origins in other countries (Mirage in France) and they come with certain configurations. While minor modifications have been carried out in the past, to be able to mount an indigenised cruise missile is an achievement."

He added that this will pave the way for the IAF to look at mini missiles and other crucial weapon systems being integrated.


While the onus of integrating the missile with the aircraft was on BrahMos Aerospace, HAL was asked to complete certain crucial modifications that would allow the missile team to fulfill its responsibility. Asked for a conservative deadline for the integration of second Su-30MKI, HAL sources said it would take about 13 months.
In the last 6-7 months several key assessments/changes, including the stress analysis, modifying load bearing members (components) of the aircraft, dummy missile mounting etc. have been completed. Sources said Russia provided the team with technical consultancy, adding the modifications to the fuselage in order to accommodate the 9-metre-long missile, were among the most challenging tasks.

The HAL team, another director pointed out, experienced a lot of hiccups during the upgradation of the MiG-21BIS which today boasts of four new missiles. "We had to modify the engine to avoid problem of shut-off," he said, adding the experience helped in the Su-30MKI project. 
 
- timesofindia

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