Amidst the border stand-off between India and China, the BrahMos air launched cruise missile has received combat clearance.
As per sources, BrahMos has received the fleet release clearance by the certifying agency.
“The fleet release clearance certification has paved the way for the pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) squadrons to use the missile during combat missions,” BrahMos Corporation told India Today.
The issuance of the fleet release clearance is the final step clearing the way for the IAF to deploy the missile in a combat mission, if deemed necessary.
In other words, the BrahMos-A is now fully operational and war-ready.
The air-launched variant of the BrahMos was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 combat jet on November 22, 2017, marking a major milestone to enhance the precision strike capability of the air force.
In June 2019, the Indian government decided to fast-track integration of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets, a closely guarded strategic project aimed at bolstering combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF), official sources then said, PTI reported.
Sources said the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the BrahMos Aerospace Ltd were told to expedite implementation of the project so that it can be completed much before the scheduled deadline of December 2020.
The Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft was inducted at Thanjavur IAF airbase equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in January 2020. The Su-30 MKI is a state-of-the-art all-weather multi-role fighter aircraft capable of undertaking varied air defense, ground attack and maritime missions.
BrahMos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft. The 2.5-ton missile flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km.
The range of the missile, an Indo-Russia joint venture, can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2018.