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Indian Air Force successfully test-fires BrahMos ALCM from Su-30MKI
February 22, 2018
Photo source: Livefist

Indian Air Force successfully test-fires BrahMos ALCM from Su-30MKI

On November 22, the Indian Air force (IAF) successfully launched the BrahMos supersonic-cruising air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) outlined the launch process in its press release, stating, “The missile was gravity-dropped from the Su-30 from fuselage, and the two-stage missile’s engine fired up and straightway propelled towards the intended target at the sea in Bay of Bengal.”

According to the MoD, the BrahMos “is now capable of being launched from Land, Sea and Air, completing the tactical cruise missile triad for India.” The MoD states that the BrahMos ALCM weighs 2,500 kg and is capable of reaching a range of over 400 km. It can cruise at Mach 2.8.

The Times of India reports that 42 Su-30MKIs will be equipped with the BrahMos. The MoD stated that the BrahMos “will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.”

The BrahMos is a joint-venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. India funded 50.5% of the venture, named Brahmos Aerospace.

BrahMos Aerospace is aiming to both export the missile to various markets, especially in East Asia, and develop new variants (e.g. an extended-range variant leveraging India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime as well as a lightweight variant with low-detectability on radar).

Earlier in November, DRDO had successfully test-fired the Nirbhay sub-sonic land-attack cruise missile and the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), a 70 km-range air-to-surface glide bomb.

Collectively, the SAAW, Nirbhay and BrahMos provide India with stand-off range strike solutions tailored for different operational needs. For example, the BrahMos for moving and time-sensitive targets, the Nirbhay for fixed-installations and the SAAW for offensive counter-air operations.

  • Maninder Mehtot

    Deadly combo

    • ahmria

      I agree,together this would make for a formidable strike package and would be a serious threat to large surface combatants like aircraft carriers . The size and cost of these missiles would mean that they would only be used for certain targets. Congratulations to the Indian Air force this is quite an achievement.

      • MT

        Brahmos in anti ship role will prohibit entry of Chinese vessles in Indian ocean.

        The aircraft cant see any ship without help of constellation of SBIRS type of SAR satellites in Indianocean /Arabian/Bay of bengal

        Efficiency of Indias own (under development) DF21 carrier killer ballistic missile would depend on similar real time target image/position acquisition capability

        • mazhar

          Dude, if India accrued 50% of the development charges of Brahmos, why you kept it in actual Russian designed. Which ever nation looks at Brahmos, Wikipedia and other defense news outlets will still mark it a RUSSIAN based missile. To me it’s still Russian not Indian. Any Anti missile battery will soon take care of these types of missiles. China also has S-400 system. Pakistan may already have a solution for this or may be ready in near future.

          • MT

            Brahmos is evolution of yakhont for last 2 decades. Brahmos is more lethal than yakhont bcoz of its vertical diving capability, better navigation guidance & precision having improved from 50~100 meter in early 2000s to <10 meter in 2010+ block 2/3 version developed in india

            S/400, RIM , Aster 30 , Barak 8 can all intercept few Brahmos but for an enemy warship fleet to surive many dozen brahmos saturation attack in Indian ocean is impossible task
            India is not going to attack china in south china sea or eastern china sea but a dozen Su30 laden with Brahmos can surely sink Chinese carrier in arabian/Indian ocean where concentration of Indian navy fleet will significantly larger than any navy in region

            China is yet to receive its first delivery of S400 which will come with fool proof system configuration encapsulated hardware making them impossible for china to reverse eng
            China must be surley working on its own MSRAM.LRSAM to be competing with S/400, RIM , Aster 30 , Barak 8.

            Pakistan is relying on 80 era HQ16 for Land based SAM while surface navy relies on old HQ 7 type of rudimentary SAM procured from china.
            I have my doubts but India is never going to waste brahmos naval version against Pakistani moving ships:)

          • mazhar

            Wishful thinking that India can attack and sink Chinese naval ships in Arabian Sea with “:dozens of Brahmos”. Your Shukhoys will be taken care of in initial stages. Plus I am highly skeptical about you war with China, it aint gona happen, it’s all muscle flexing and retracting on both sides. May be good for export, but still, Brahmos has Russian look. It’s not indigenous Indian.

          • MT

            A United States report, which argued that a total of 64 BrahMos missiles could destroy a carrier battle group, has experienced frequent mention in the Chinese discourse.

          • Steve

            Agree. It is Yakhont with some software tweaking. One thing is for sure. This combo is so bloody huge in size it will be visible from the moon with any decent AESA equipped platform. Just need a decent longer range air defence missile and the overloaded planes will be dropping their missiles to hightail it back to base. It is not quite the game changer our over-excited friends make it out to be.

          • savyamalhotra

            To sum up precisely.
            Sir, ur comment is very naive, bhramos was never meant to sleek and stealthy it’s might lies in it’s supersonic speed

          • Steve

            Sir you have obviously not understood my post wrt stealth and not being the game changer it is hyped to be.

  • Lasit

    with the combined range of the Su-30 MKI and Brahmos A, its going to be a big time party spoiler for any Chinese Navy vessel in IOR..

    • Manju

      Su30MKI has a range of 3000km(radius of 155km for to and fro mission) and at altitude it can cruise at Mach2 and the current Brahmos has a range of about 400-450km that could cruise at Mach2.8. The Range of Su30MKI can be further increased to 8000km with 2 in-flight refueling.I hope for total range you can do the math yourself.

  • amar

    Hi Bilal, You are forgetting anti radiation missile that was based on Astra platform. NGARM which is pumped up Astra for air to ground ops has a range of more than 100kms. However unlike SAAW it can be only utilized to target enemy radar installations etc etc. As you can see, India first developed the Astra BVR missile– various aerodynamic iterations of it and refined it to the level where it can be accepted by the end user i.e IAF. Then this Astra missile base configuration was used in QRSAM a couple of months back. The primary difference between QRSAM and Astra BVR is the presence of small canards at the nose. Also a point to note is that the main fire control radar for QRSAM is going to be the Ashwin AESA radar–Designed by LRDE bangalore. And now the very same base configuration although slightly bigger in dimension was used for NGARM. So the trick is, if a country has developed the BVR, SAM and ARM can follow.
    Pakistan on it’s part must start at least WVR missile like PL-5. Let the students and academia come with an aerodynamic layout after painstaking wind tunnel tests. Then develop composite motor for requisite thrust. And finally develop the Guidance, Navigation and Control system for the missile. What are your remarks on the research?

    • Ishaq Baltistani

      Astra and nirbhay are still neither reliable nor inducted. Infact astra failed all its tests, nirbhay could only pass its latest test,
      Ngram was rejected by iaf for being too bulky and too heavy. DRDO has sought help from Russia for seeker technology. The Air Force is negotiating to buy AGM 88 missiles from the US and plans to induct more than 1,500 in the next five years.

      So where is success?

      • MT

        Nope. Astra have been gradually inducted with limited production capacity.
        Nirbhay had minor flaws with hardware and quality issues.
        Latests test carried out with local turbojet. Induction ll take place around 2020 and Nibhay ALCM and SLCM version will be tested with much ease as they ll share similar subsystem

        It’s navigation system probs been rectified in 2014.

        Ngram has evolved since then. It weighed 140 kg in 2015 slightly heavier than spec and weight been reducing with each iteration of development version

      • bolokolotolo

        B.S..
        Astra had a 83% success rate during tests.
        Your military never informed you of the numerous failures of Babur(HN-1B).
        BTW NGARM was never rejected.

        • Sami Shahid

          Brabar cruise Missile is not for the Air Force. It’s Raad Missile & it’s perfect.

      • south block

        Just cause Pakistani suffer from cognitive dissonance doesn’t mean rest of the world suffer from same…
        Astra trials are over and BVRAAM is already under production & nirbhay will be clearing all tests by next year….rest of your post is typical Pakistani gibberish.

      • Manju

        It seems DRDO has provided you with detailed reports on all the developments.

      • J.Arandas

        Don’t get too excited. Given the recent behavior of Uncle Sam wielding stick in the face of Pakistanis (instead of throwing carrots) and the growing bonhomie and strategic embrace of India, i wouldn’t be surprised if pakistan is asked to pay for each and every missile from its own pocket, thereby effectively scuttling the deal. F-16 deal is a prime example of that. When asked to pay upfront, you guys high-tail and scoot.
        Also india has an ever increasing diplomatic presence and behind the scenes powerplay in washington. I wouldn’t be surprised if the state department doesn’t authorise the deal due to “third party” concerns.

        • Sami Shahid

          Now what are you talking about ? We have the RAAD cruise Missile for our Air Force and we don’t buy it from the US. As for F-16, we are developing our block 3 of JF-17 and then we won’t need F-16 rather we would develop a stealth air craft.

  • little children

    jai hind

    • Steve

      Mods how does sloganeering like this help the discourse? This is not Bharat rakshak.

      • Deleted.

        • Steve

          Haha ok lol. I am sure you had a different response but maybe changed your mind. That’s allowed lol. Your assertion may be tested soon!

      • Abdul Rashid

        Hi Steve, good to see you back on here.

        The odd slogan by any side might not help or detract from the discourse but, as pointed out by Bilal, we have not blocked ”Pakistan Zindabad” in the past either.

  • Paul Dawood

    Can an indian brahmos deploy a nuclear warhead?Since it is a joint venture I have heard it cannot deploy a nuke since it falls under MTCR guidelines…. I don’t know how come india was able to extend it’s range to beyond 300 kms because that’s also a violation of mtcr….Bilal please make it clear for me.

    • Dunzy

      In case you did not know, India is a member of MTCR

      • J.Arandas

        Ignorance is bliss. Duzy, why correct an adversary who is ill informed. Let them have a false sense of security and something to be falsely happy about.
        Mr. Dawood, yes India is not a member of MTCR. India has been breaking rules and guidelines by testing missiles over 300 km range. Hurry, UN and other int’l organisations for the first time might heed to Pakistan’s cries about Indian “foul play”.
        After all complains of rapidly modernising army and a India-led arms race in south asia, alleged violation in Kashmir etc. have so far failed to make an impact in the int’l fora and have fallen on deaf ears. Good luck getting the int’l community against India on BrahMos issue as well. Russia, France and US are strategic partners of India. UK recently affirmed the importance of India as an important trade partner post brexit. Even your all weather friend China has an annual trade of over $100 billion USD with India. MTCR or no MTCR much to the frustration of Pakistan, the world community knows its in their best interests to overlook what India is doing.

    • MT

      India is not going to use Brahmos or any cruise missiles for nucelar deployment. These are to be used for moving targets and saturation attacks.

      MTCR guidelines for member state is 600 KM while India can only export 300 Km range Brahmos to non MTCR states

      • amar

        I do believe that the reason why Nirbhay is being developed is to augment nuclear payload which Brahmos cant. I firmly believe that Nirbhay will be assigned nuclear roles, in future. So in short, Brahmos is purely for quick strikes with conventional payload and Nirbhay is for deep strike with both conventional or nuclear payload.

  • Jack More

    Amazed that the news posted.congrats.

  • Steve

    Only one missile can be carried as it is so heavy and imposes severe restrictions on flight envelope. JF17 is integrated with Raad which is quite stealthy and CM-400AKG which fulfills most of our needs. We need to build hundreds of missiles to saturate battlefield, landmass and sea, and impose a severe cost for deterrence to work effectively. We should also aim to join MTCR to get longer range missiles from China. Sure to be major opposition from the neighbourhood with the old bogey of terrorism used extensively. We will of course use the NSG leverage to make that happen, but may take a few years for reality to sink in enough to overcome arrogance. Equal-equal lol!

    • MT

      1. Pak has nt been able to integrate/test Raad or CM400 AKG on jf17.
      Denel dynamic built Raad deal was limited to integration of Raad on Mirage carried out by South african engineers. Block 2 airframes cant support Raad on central fuselage point.
      Mounting 1+ ton raad on wings will require complete redesign, testing of frames.
      So only left point is under belly pylon and then proble arise due to dimension of the missile affecting ground clearance.
      Perhaps, Block 3 redesign address this concern

      2. Neither pak nor china is member of MTCR. Its China who is solely blocking NSG seat for India so India will deal with china on quid pro quo if they wish to enter MTCR.

      3. Equal equal saga is not possible. The economy , military gap will increase.
      Pak cruise or ballistic missile development is restricted by missile integration from imported chinese companies. It may be sufficient to maintain parity in short term but
      with no R&D facilities, it would be become much harder to maintain in long run

      • bolokolotolo

        Agreed.
        Also Pakistan has Not placed any orders for CM-400AKG

      • Headstrong

        Unfortunately, it is exactly this delusion of ‘equal-equal’ that is the prime motivator for the hate regurgitated day in and day out within Pakistan and, of course, on this and other such fora. Eating grass therefore comes naturally 🙂

    • Jahanzaib Gulfam

      long time no see steve

      • Steve

        Hey man!

    • Manju

      Your entire comment has misinformation. There are 42 Su30MKI with strenghthed Airframe from Russia and each can actually carry 2 BrahMos on its underbelly.If you mean Hatf 8 is integrated with JF17 then that’s a news which was never confirmed on any Pakistani Defence blogs(There is a plan to induct them in the future it seems) moreover stealth is something that I’ve never heard about RaadALCM.CM400AKG(export variant of YJ12) is still under negotiations between Pakistan and China(China is still testing it on its heavier aircrafts such as JH-7B) and whether it’s Hatf8 or CM400AKG not sure whether a light aircraft such as JF-17 has Airframe strenghthed to hold cruise missiles on wingtips or ground clearance for underbelly(which only holds for Pakistani Mirage under project ROSE). Actually China is not member of MTCR but an applicant which wishes to join and it’s last membership plea was rejected due to missile technology proliferation to North Korea and Pakistan (info available on public domain). Just like NSG, MTCR membership needs consensus of all 35 member countries.Latest Joinee being India, Don’t worry about our NSG membership we are working on it and our diplomacy is robust enough to convince China ,If not today but tomorrow.

      • amar

        Firstly no, sukhios werent strengthened in Russia but in India. There is a very good seminar video about it wherein Chairman of Brahmos explains as to why they did it in India. Russians were simply asking too much $$$. Secondly for now, Su-30 can carry only 1 brahmos and not 2. Thats too much load for a single su-30 to handle. For christ sake it is a 2.5 tonner and not <1 ton missile!
        However things might change if they develop brahmos-NG that is slated to have a weight of less than 1 tonnes at the sacrifice of range(~120-150kms) enabling it to be integrated onto various platform ranging from mig-29K, LCA to even mirages!

    • M.Rizw@n

      Hi Steve how r u bro long time

  • Sami Shahid

    So Pakistan should also equip all of its JF-17 with Raad cruise Missile.

    • ahmria

      Have Pakistan not integrated the Raad with the JF17 yet? I would think that it would be a priority as the JF17 will be taking over strike duties from the Mirages.

      • bolokolotolo

        JF-17 lacks ground clearance needed to carry Raad

      • Faisal

        So far we have only seen mirage launching Raad.

  • Steve

    In the Pakistan Indian context this is irrelevant. Launch from ground will be equally effective for Babur as well as this missile. The countries share a long land border. For western areas of Pakistan platform will have to ingress in the country and it becomes not really a ‘standoff’ weapon for reasons that need not be spelt out. As usual more hype than substance.

    • Maninder Mehtot

      This is more meant for Chinese.For pakistan I would say India has enough other weapon.Why to waste this premium weapon on western border???Better use it again Chinese

      • Steve

        Do you mean Chinese border over the Himalayas or naval?

        • Headstrong

          Both

    • Headstrong

      You people are of course entitled to hide your assets in the ‘western areas’. Believe you have some experience doing that in 65 and 71. By ‘western areas’, you mean Iran and Afghanistan too, of course.
      Btw, are you really comparing Babur and Brahmos?

  • Link us to the ridicule and abuse, and we’ll delete it.

    • Steve

      I can see some posts altered, usually mine. cheers

      • We’ve deleted and altered some Indian ones on this thread. Review the comment policy, we’re not going to tolerate provocation against specific members or groups, regardless of where it comes from.

  • MT

    “News reports have indicated the CM-400 has entered service with the Pakistan air force. ”

    So you are relying on rumours nd news report.. Not even one press Statement from Pak airforce, Kamra or jf17 project director that CM400 has been integrated or tested with jf17.

    Well Pak hasn’t placed any orders for it as yet and Chinese will never make change in frames until your airforce places an order

    • Steve

      Unlike you Pakistan does not boast about its achievements especially if they are aspirations. It’s good you’re calling Flight Global news ‘rumours’ when you have run out of rational arguments. It shows the quality of the response you are making. If there was a press statement from Pakistan you would demand ‘evidence’ in the form of western ‘reputable’ sources. I’m wasting my time here.

      • MT

        Forum moderator has written dozen pieces on jf17 and he Hs never mentioned induction of CM400AG.

        Flight global doesn’t cite any press statement/neutral source from clients observing it any any airshow. There aren’t any video evidence to back your statement

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