In few years from now, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be able to carry and launch the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will be possible once the lighter version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos-NG (next generation), is ready, according to the company officials.
“The BrahMos-NG development is expected to make first flight in two years and will be ready for production in 2-3 years after that, according to a BrahMos official. The focus of the development as of now is on the air-launched version,” a BrahMos official said on the sidelines of DefExpo-2022. “
The NG will weigh almost half as much as the current air-launched version, making it possible to be mounted on the LCA in future, the official said. Stating that during the development phase it is being integrated on the Su-30MKI, the official said it would later be integrated on the LCA and also other fighters of the Air Force.
The current air-launched missile weighs 2.65 tonnes, which will come down to 1.33 tonnes with the NG. With this, a SU-30MKI will be able to carry up to four BrahMos-NG missiles, while the LCA can carry two missiles, the official added.
BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and the missile derives its name from Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers. The missile is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets and has been long inducted by the Indian armed forces.
The range of the missile was originally capped at 290 km as per obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Following India’s entry into the club in June 2016, DRDO officials had stated that the range would be extended to 450 km and to 600 km at a later stage. The ER version has been tested several times both by the Navy and IAF.