Moscow: Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will participate in the joint development of a new cruise missile with India only if the Russian Air Force opts for it, so said the head of this umbrella organisation for Russian aircraft manufacturers last week.
"Our participation will be certain only if we receive an official request to equip Russian fighters, the Su-MKI in particular, with these missiles. So far we have not received such a request," said UAC president Alexey Fyodorov.
The UAC includes Ilyushin, Tupolev, Sukhoi, Antonov and Mikoyan, as well as companies involved in distribution of aircraft. It was set up last year to streamline the country's aircraft-building industry.
Last month, Russia and India announced plans to jointly develop a hypersonic cruise missile, now dubbed as the BrahMos-2 . The new missile will have a top speed of over Mach 5 and will match similar developments taking place around the world.
BrahMos Aerospace is a joint Indo-Russian venture that designs, produces and markets BrahMos supersonic missiles, whose sea and land-based versions have been successfully tested and inducted by the Indian army and navy.
The head of BrahMos Aerospace, Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, had said earlier that the joint venture had finished development of an airborne version of the missile and was awaiting suitable modification of Su-30MKI fighters for trials.
As with most Russian projects, the modification programme is considerably behind schedule with Sukhoi designers caught up with development work on the Su-35 fighter programme.
The BrahMos supersonic missile is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 pounds) to a range of 290 km (180 miles). It can hit ground targets flying at an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) at a top speed of Mach 2.8. It is unique in that it is the only supersonic missile currently in service any where in the world.
BrahMos Aerospace has said that Indian armed forces could purchase up to 1,000 of these missiles over the next decade, and would also look towards exporting 2,000 to other countries in the same period.