According to what are being called “Official Sources” in the Indian Press the integration of BrahMos onto the Su-30MKI is being fast-tracked, with completion possible this year. This is thought to be due to the recent Indian Air Force (IAF) clashes with Pakistan earlier this year.
BrahMos, the world’s fastest current generation air-launched cruise missile is due to be integrated onto 40 of the IAF 249 Su-30MKIs. A similar program is thought to be currently underway in Russia to integrate the missile onto their Su-30SM aircraft, itself developed from the Su-30MKI.
Adding a top of the line air-launched cruise missile to its inventory is considered a must by the Indian Air Force, especially with the recent issues regarding Pakistan. The strategic value such a weapon being available has is enormous, and will also go some way towards closing the strategic capability cap with China.
1According to the Indian Free Press the integration program is a “closely guarded strategic project” but how closely guarded an integration project needs to be, or can be in the public eye remains to be seen. Most Western nations are fairly open when they are integrating new weapons as it’s generally a fairly routine process.
Nick Ashwell-Rice has worked in aviation and defence journalism since 2014 whilst also maintaining a career outside of the industry. He has been Editor-in-Chief at Talking Aero since its inception