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India Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile From Fighter Jet

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile tested from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet for the first time

With the successful flight test of world's fastest supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI frontline fighter aircraft, India has given a major boost to its air attack capabilities.

The Ministry said in a statement, the Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) was tested in a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal. The success of the test firing is a big step for Indian defence as it could help Indian Air Force conduct surgical strikes easily.

The fighter jet which has a cruising range of 3,200 km along with the supersonic cruise missile is said to a "deadly combination". After release, the missile free falls for 100-150 meters, then goes into a cruise phase at 14,000 meters and finally the terminal phase at 15 meters. The missile had a range of 290 km initially, which was increased to 450 km this year after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

With this, Brahmos completes the cruise missile triad, which means it can be launched from land, sea and air.

The technological feat for the air-launched variant required the missile to be miniaturized and designed for firing from a platform, the Sukhoi 30Mki, that was not originally developed for such a weapon.

"Congratulate Team Brahmos and DRDO India for this historic achievement", the defence minister said. And the Brahmos missile named after the popular rivers like Moscow and Brahmaputra. The IAF plans to induct at least 200 BrahMos-compatible fighter jets in the coming years.

Dr. S Christopher, Chairman DRDO & Secretary, Department of Defence R&D congratulated the Scientists and Engineers for this excellent textbook kind of flight test. The missile's developer said it "can be a game changer for any air force in the world". It is also first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service.

The missile, which travels three faster than the speed of sound, was developed by India and Russian Federation.