Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brahmos-M Planned Induction in 2017

Brahmos-A Mockup under the belly of a Su-30MKI at Aero India 2011. Photo Credit: Vijainder K Thakur
On September 26, 2013, Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and MD of the BrahMos Aerospace Limited, told Itar-Tass that the company is currently working on the detail design and initial configuration of a smaller variant of the Brahmos which will be called BrahMos-M; development of the missile is yet to start.

According to Dr. Pillai, since the project "is in its initial stage, it is difficult to tell when the rocket may be phased into service."

"Nevertheless, we expect that it will be adopted in the range of 2017," Dr. Pillai added.

Dr. Pillai first announced the new Brahmos version in New Delhi on March 12, 2011.

Tass reported on February 20, 2013 that the new missile would be 6 m in length and weigh 1.5 tons. It's range would be the same as Brahmos - 290 km.

The new missile would be capable of launch from standard sized submarine torpedo tube, like the submarine launched version of the Exocet missile to be fitted on Type 75 Scorpene submarines currently under production at Mazagaon Docks in Mumbai.

The smaller size and lighter weight of the Brahmos-M will also make it suitable for carriage by smaller aircraft, such as the Indian Navy's MiG-29K and the under-development FGFA.

The Su-30 MKI Super 30 variant, which is the only IAF aircraft capable of carrying the underdevelopment Brahmos-A ALCM, will be able to carry three Brahmos-M missiles instead of a one Brahmos-A.

New Ramjet Engine

Brahmos-3 will be an altogether new missile that will use technologies developed for Brahmos.

Since Brahmos-M needs to be considerably smaller, it will require a completely new, smaller sized ramjet engine.

Brahmos Aerospace has already started work on the new engine, which will be developed in Russia. (Brahmos engines continue to be manufactured in Russia, though eventually manufacture will shift to India.)