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IAF strikes target with extended-range BrahMos missile

An IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI has launched an ER version of the BrahMos cruise missile. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

An extended-range (ER) variant of India's air-launched BrahMos-A missile has successfully struck its designated target.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a statement that a Sukhoi Su-30MKI launched the missile on 12 May. This is the first launch of the ER variant from an Su-30MKI.

“The launch from the aircraft was as planned, and the missile achieved a direct hit on the designated target in the Bay of Bengal region,” the IAF said.

An IAF source told Janes that an aircraft from No 222 ‘Tigersharks' Squadron based in Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu conducted the launch.

“With this, the IAF has achieved the capability to carry out precision strikes from Su-30MKI aircraft against a land/sea target over very long ranges,” Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The IAF added that the extended capability of the missile, coupled with the high performance of the Su-30MKI, gives the air force “strategic reach and allows it to dominate the future battlefields”.

While the IAF declined to specify the range of the missile, an analysis by Janes finds that the ER variant has a range of between 450 and 500 km.

The baseline BrahMos-A has a range of 290 km and carries a warhead weighing between 200 and 300 kg. The range extension of the BrahMos took place after India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016, which removed caps on cruise missile's range.

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