The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun modifying some 40 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters to enable them to carry the BrahMos-A (Air) supersonic cruise missile, and thus boost the aircraft’s long-range precision-strike capabilities.
Official sources told Jane’s that the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which licence-builds the aircraft, is expected to complete modifications for two Su-30MKI squadrons by 2020-21.
This will include strengthening the fighter’s under-fuselage weapon station, where the 8-m long, 2.5-tonne BrahMos-A is to be carried. The retrofit also involves making mechanical, electrical, and software changes to the aircraft’s cockpit systems to integrate the BrahMos-A, official sources said.
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