The first test firing of the sleeker, lighter `NG’ version of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile could take place within two years, with feasibility studies showing the way forward to integrate it onto the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The head of the Indo-Russian Brahmos corporation says that the integration, which is expected to be done within four years, will boost the export potential of the fighter jet as it would have a potent indigenous weapon system that can take down land targets, ships and slow-moving enemy combat aircraft at a distance of over 300 km.
“The Brahmos NG is going to be the future system of our armed forces. We had earlier designed it for the Navy and this time we are developing an air to air version,” Sudhir Mishra, CEO & MD of Brahmos told ET.
Sharing that the idea of integrating the Brahmos NG with the LCA came from Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, the CEO said that the weapon will give a competitive edge to the LCA when it comes to export order.
“We have done system studies and performance models. We have also found what modifications need to be done to LCA wing to carry the Brahmos as well as some changes to the missile. Both these studies are done and the feasibility study shows that the missile can travel over a range of 300 km,” Mishra said.
The Brahmos NG – which will also be integrated with the Su 30 MKI fighter jets – is being designed to take down slow-moving `force multipliers’ deep within enemy territory. This would make the missile an `AWACS killer’ that could take down an enemy early warning and control system even after being fired from the Indian side of the border. Similarly, it can target enemy refueling aircraft and transporters.
“The missile will have an anti-land and an anti-ship role, as well, that is the plan. We will have a timeline of 3-4 years in which we would like to finish the final configuration tests and start delivering the missile from year four plus,” Mishra said.
The other potential for the NG version could be to be a prime weapon for submarines as well as it would be designed to be launched from torpedo tubes.