Sukhoi with BrahMos to be inducted next week

The jets can be used for sea strikes using BrahMos missile

Sukhoi with BrahMos to be inducted next week

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 14

In a major development, India is set to induct the BrahMos missile-equipped Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter jets at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

The formal induction will be done next week under the re-raised the 222 Squadron — The Tigersharks — of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Russian-origin Sukhoi’s will be mandated for a maritime role. In lay parlance, the jets can be used for sea strikes using the BrahMos missile, sources said. So far, the IAF had been using the Jaguar for a sea-role and also in the past the MiG-27 was used. The range of the Sukhoi is far greater and is capable of carrying the air-version of the BrahMos which weighs about 2.5 tonnes.

The IAF will have the only air-launched supersonic weapon of its kind in the world that can be fired from an air platform at a target at sea.

The BrahMos has a minimum range of 290 km. The Sukhoi 30 MKI, has a flight radius of some 1,000 km extendable by mid-air refuelling, hence allowing a strike at target far-off at sea.

The IAF’s capability to fire the supersonic cruise missile from the Sukhoi 30-MKI, will allow pilots to stay away from the reach of enemy missiles.

On December 17, the IAF had carried out the third successful firing a BrahMos missile from the Sukhoi-30 MKI, completing the integration of the supersonic missile with the fighter jet.

The test was conducted in ‘user configuration’ meaning it was in a configuration as it would be used by the IAF in a real-time scenario.

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