The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted and operationalised the air-launched, extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. With a kill range of 450 km, this is the IAF’s most potent air-launched anti-surface weapon, and its induction is a significant capability milestone.
The missile has been mated with select Sukhoi-30MKI fighters. An estimated 42 Su-30MKIs will be modified to wield the airborne BrahMos. The modified Sukhois will have the capability to carry only one BrahMos at a time as part of a weapons configuration which also includes four RVV AE (R-77) air-to-air medium range missiles, two R-73 air-to-air short range missiles and six 250 kg bombs. “A few BrahMos-armed aircraft will be provided to all IAF Su-30MKI squadrons to wield this capability,” an informed observer disclosed. Some will also be kept in reserve. Analysts term the IAF BrahMos capability “phenomenal”. This has a longer range and more destructive potential than any other air-to-surface weapon wielded by the IAF so far. “The air-launched BrahMos has a strategic role. It is to destroy targets in depth which have strategic value and compromise the war waging capability of an adversary,” remarked Air Marshal BK Pandey (Retired), a former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF’s Training Command. The strategic targets in depth could be major military bases, ammunition dumps and vital installations. “With its range, the IAF can launch this weapon from its own airspace." #Source-
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