IAF successfully tests land attack version of BrahMos

The Indian Air Force on Friday successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos in the western sector.

The flight trial which took place in a firing range in the western sector, met its mission parameters, a BrahMos press release said. The missile destroyed a designated target.

Its accuracy in mountain warfare mode was re-established during a campaign by the Army in the eastern sector last year and repeated last month.

The missile system ''has empowered all the three wings of the armed forces with anti-ship and land-attack capability,'' the release said.

It quoted Sudhir Mishra, chief executive officer and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, as saying, ''BrahMos has proved its mettle once again as the best supersonic cruise missile system in the world.''

This brings to light that the IAF too has been equipped with the land-attack version of BrahMos, which flies at a supersonic speed of Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound). The Navy and the Army have already deployed the two-stage missile, which has a range of 290 km.

Asked why the IAF should fire a land-attack version of BrahMos, sources said two squadrons had already been equipped with the version. (One squadron has about 70 to 80 missiles) The IAF had deployed the missile in the border areas to take out the enemy's communication towers, runways, and radar in case of a conflict, the sources said.

The IAF is preparing to fire the air version of BrahMos from its Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft in the coming weeks, the sources said. ''All ground tests have been completed,'' they added. A flight of Sukhoi-30 MKI with the launcher took place a few weeks ago and more such tests would follow.