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India to deploy BrahMos missile in fighter planes

March 12, 2011 19:27 IST

India is planning to deploy its 290km range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft being developed with Russia. "If we are able to reduce the weight of the missile below two tonnes, we can deploy it on the FGFA and we are looking to do that in future," BrahMos Aerospace chief A Sivathanu Pillai said.

FGFA is a joint-venture aircraft development programme between India and Russia under which India will induct 250-300 of these advanced planes. The missile is already being developed for deployment on Su-30MKIs of the Indian Air Force.

Asked if the missile could be put on other aircraft such as the Light Combat Aircraft or the proposed Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft, Pillai said it would not be possible for the LCA as it was a small aircraft.

Asked if there was any plan to export the missile, the BrahMos chief said "Many countries have shown interest in the missile and a supervisory council comprising of Indian and Russian officials has given the clearance for exporting it to friendly countries."

He said that the three services have extended their support for the missile export, but only after fulfilling their requirements. Pillai said the three services have placed orders worth $ 4 billion with BrahMos, including the orders for the land version of cruise missile by the Indian Air Force.

He denied that there were disputes between India and Russia over the modifications being carried out in the Su-30MKIs being upgraded to fire-from-the-air version of the missile. "The trials of launching the BrahMos cruise missile from air will begin in 2012 and there will be no delay in the programme because of this," he added.

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