The Indian Air Force will arm 40 Russia-built Sukhoi fighter jets with BrahMos missiles, a top official has said.
The addition of the missiles to India's fleet of Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters will make them "absolutely unique" in firepower, Sivathanu Pillai, head of BrahMos Aerospace, said in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday at the Defence Services Asia (DSA)-2010 exhibition.
The first tests of BrahMos air-launched missiles were set for 2011, while the first fighter test flights with missiles on board are scheduled for late 2012, he said.
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km and can carry a warhead of up to 300 kg. It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is three times faster than the US-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
The BrahMos Aerospace, an Indian-Russian joint venture established in 1998, produces BrahMos supersonic missiles, sea and ground-launch versions of which have been successfully tested and put into service by the Indian Army and Navy.