The Indian-Russian Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) has been test-fired for the first time from an Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI.
The Indian Ministry of Defence has announced the successful first test firing of the supersonic Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from an Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI against a naval target in the Bay of Bengal.
In the test, performed on 22nd November, the two-stage missile was gravity-dropped, and its engine ignited and propelled the missile towards the intended target in the Bay of Bengal.
The Indian MoD says the successful maiden test firing will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges. The 2.5t missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft, specially modified by HAL to carry the weapons.
The IAF has previously indicated that it intends to modify 40 Su-30MKIs to carry Brahmos.
Following the successful test, Brahmos is now capable of being launched from Land, Sea and Air, completing India's tactical cruise missile triad.
The design of the missile — already operational with the Indian Army and Navy — has been modified so that it can be mounted on the Su-30MKI. The air-launched variant is shorter (by 0.5m) and lighter (by 500kg) than the other versions.
The missile has been developed by Brahmos Aerospace, a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia. It made its first flight on the Su-30MKI in June 2016.