The various tests for fitting the air variant of Brahmos in the Sukhoi aircraft of Indian Air Force were going on and the entire work would be completed by the end of 2013, when they would be ready to launch the supersonic missile for the first time from air, A.Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Brahmos Aesospace said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters during the inaugural of a two-day conference on defence education held at Hindustan University at Padur Village on Old Mamallapuram Road, he said Brahmos without a doubt had become the most potent weapon in the world.

Various tests were currently being done for fitting the air variant of Brahmos onto the Sukhoi aircraft. The air variant weighed half a tonne lesser than the regular missiles as they had to remove boosters and other parts. The tests were being currently done at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Aircraft Division at Nasik, Maharashtra, Mr. Pillai said.

Stating that overall, Brahmos was far superior to Tomahawk missiles, the Distinguished Scientist of Defence Research and Development Organisation, said supersonic missiles had today become much better than the sub-sonic cruise missles. Stating that that the Brahmos’ speed was 2.8 Mach, it was targeted to double this speed in the next generation of Brahmos’ hypersonic missile, currently under development.

Among other issues, Mr. Pillai said DRDO was concentrating on creating technology incubation centres in multiple universities. He said DRDO could not do projects alone and that innovation and creativity in research should come from universities with funding assistance from the State.

Shekar Dutt, Governor of Chattisgarh, speaking on the occasion, said left-wing insurgency had become the most important internal security problem in India. He elaborated that Naxals inhabited remote and inaccessible areas that were also thinly populated. He categorically said that since “population density is a factor for investments on infrastructure,” Mr. Dutt, former Deputy National Security Adviser and Defence Secretary, said infrastructure growth in such areas was low. Further, the task of security agencies and the intelligence mechanism was not easy in such areas.

Defence Education, he said, involved understanding of processes and procedures and implied expertise in language, cultures, terrains, regions and the capability to exploit platforms and weapon systems to their optimum capacity.

The conference is being organised by the private university’s Centre for Defence Technology Studies, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and Cranfield University, U.K. The Hindu is the media partner. Scientists from various government institutions, officers from the Armed Forces, representatives from the industry and also those from academic institutions are taking in the event.

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