The trials of BrahMos-NG, a lighter and smaller variant of the existing air-launched BrahMos, will begin in late 2024, Atul Dinkar Rane, BrahMos Aerospace CEO and Managing Director, has said.
"We are working on that [BrahMos NG] right now. We will start testing that by the end of next year." Rane has been quoted as saying.
"We have to make it [missile] smaller," he said, adding that the next generation of the BrahMos missile will be "half the weight".
"So, I will say by December 2025 - the middle of 2026 we will have this smaller missile which we can fit on any aircraft," Rane noted.
The air-launched version of the BrahMos has already been integrated with Su-30 MKIs of the Indian Air Force, based at the Thanjavur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu. Their presence in peninsular India and the integration of air-launched BrahMos gives these fighters the ability to hit targets as far as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean.
However, given the missile's size and weight, a Su-30 MKI can carry only one air-launched BrahMos — on its belly hardpoint. The number could be increased to three with a smaller and lighter BrahMos NG, which will also be integrated with other fighters of the IAF, including the indigenous Tejas.
Equipped with three BrahMos missiles, the fighters will be able to strike multiple targets during a single operation.
Apart from reduced dimensions and weight, the new missile will also have advanced next-generation stealth and better effectiveness against electronic counter-countermeasure.
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