Chennai: India will test the air variant
of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile before the end of 2012, a
top official of BrahMos Aerospace said on Monday.
"We are going to test the missile from air so that it
can be inducted into the Indian Air Force. The testing will be
done before the end of 2012," Brahmos Aerospace Chief
Executive Officer A Sivathanu Pillai told reporters here.
BrahMos has already been inducted into the Army and
the Navy after successful tests.
Pillai said the Defence Research Development
Organisation (DRDO) was working on increasing the speed of its
missiles. "We are also working on achieving hypersonic speed.
It will take some five years from now."
Former President and missile expert APJ Abdul Kalam
had recently asked the BrahMos Aerospace to "develop an
hypersonic version" that should be able to deliver its payload
and return to base.
The cruise missiles developed by BrahMos, a joint
venture between India and Russia, can travel at speeds of Mach
2.8 (2.8 times the speed of sound) against US` Tomahawk at 0.8
Mach, he said.
India is the only country to have a supersonic cruise
missile developed in a joint venture with Russia and the
maiden launch of BrahMos was carried out a decade ago at the
Interim Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Orissa.