Live flights will be carried out next year

The aerial version of BrahMos cruise missile with reduced weight would be fitted with deep fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI to undergo the first flight trial before this year end, said CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace A. Sivathanu Pillai here on Tuesday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of ‘BrahMos Aerospace Industry Consortium Meet’, he said one missile would be integrated with aircraft and “we will carry out flight tests initially with the missile not having propellants.” It would be a weight simulated missile.

He said live flights would be carried out next year and the Air Force version inducted into service by 2015.

Dr. Pillai said BrahMos Aerospace was currently having an order book worth Rs. 25,000 crore for Navy, Army and Air Force versions of the missile.

Asked about the export of the missile, he said 14 countries had evinced interest and it was for the government to take a decision on it.

Referring to public-private industrial consortium established for BrahMos, he said it needed to become a national model for the country to become self-reliant and strong in defence technology. With the latest Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) stipulating “buy Indian,” it was necessary to increase indigenous production. Self-reliance would not be a problem if there was large-scale collaboration and a strategy needed to be worked out for enabling a huge ‘Military Industrial Complex.’

While addressing the meeting, the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said many countries had evinced interest in BrahMos missile and wanted India and Russia to utilise the opportunity to export the system to friendly countries. He said 36 flight trials had demonstrated the high reliability of the system. It had also opened up vast opportunities for domestic units and 50 per cent of the orders were being executed by the private industry.