NEW DELHI, June 12 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian-Indian joint venture Brahmos Aerospace will start developing a new Brahmos-2 hypersonic missile this year, Brahmos Aerospace Director Alexander Maksichev said on Sunday.
"During the year, we are planning to start work on a hypersonic missile, Brahmos-2. This will be a completely new missile,' he said on the sidelines of a conference on the 10th anniversary of the first launch of the Brahmos missile.
Maksichev said the JV intended to start the tests of airborne Brahmos missiles next year.
"We expect to be able to start the tests of Brahmos missiles launched from aircraft. Various types of aircraft, including Su-30 MKI fighters, are expected to be armed with these missiles," he said.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd manufactures supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26).
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs). It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.