Sunday, July 29, 2012
Joint Russia-India missile to be ready by 2017
Russia and India have recently agreed to develop hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5 to Mach 7.
"I think we will need about five years to develop the first fully-functional prototype (of the hypersonic missile). We have already carried out a series of lab tests at the speed of 6.5 Mach," said Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian-Indian joint venture Brahmos Aerospace.
Pillai said the new missile will be made in three variants -- ground-launched, airborne, and sea-launched.
He said the new missiles will be supplied only to India and Russia, without exports to third countries.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, a Russian-Indian joint venture, currently manufactures BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26).
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg. It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
Sea and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.
The flight tests of the airborne version will be completed by the end of 2012.
The Indian Air Force is planning to arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles.