Brahmos A missile Ready by April 2016
Sources inside from Brahmos said that, they will carry out first maiden test launch of Brahmos A missile by November, and with the induction date of next April, after completing three dummy Brahmos missiles and one actual missile, all four will be fired from the Su 30 MKI aircraft, first three would be evaluate the launching altitude, speed, fraction and aircraft stability, the final launch would be Brahmos in actual combat mode with warheads and on board seekers, once all tests are successfully completed, HAL will starts works on the first phase of modifying Su 30 MKI fleet from IAF inventory.
The HAL has a Sukhoi facility in Nasik, where they did several structural modification in the Su 30 MKI fighter to carry the 2.5 ton Brahmos missiles, the Brahmos will be carried on the Center line only, to stabilize the Aircraft when flying and maneuvering, the Su 30 MKI is designed to carry only Air to air missiles in the center line, thus can accommodate two air to air missile, however the Sukhoi can carry Kh 35 Anti ship missiles under the air in take position, compare to the 500 kg Kh 35, the Brahmos A missile is five times weightier than the Kh 35. so HAL chooses much harder center line to carry the heavier missile.
The First three tests completely evaluate the Fighters performance when carrying a much heavier missile, like it's flying speed, maneuvering ability, cruise speed, take off issues and land back safely with the missile, HAL and Brahmos corp already completed or nearing completion of wind tunnel model tests to check problems and effect of aerodynamic changes, and some reports mentioned that the first modified Su 30 MKI already delivered to Brahmos corp for testing the missile,
Mainly the HAL is responsible for structural modification in the Su 30 MKI fighter jet, and Brahmos corp is responsible for Missile modification, the actual Brahmos missile size is 8.4 meter, and the Su 30 MKI some 22 meters from tail to nose cone, so they need to Shorten the missile at first, which results reduced weight too, normal variant of Brahmos weights some three tons, while the Air launched version slightly lower that is 2.5 tons.
HAL plans to transfer the second modified Su 30 MKI to Brahmos Corp before this month, where air launched tests are scheduled in November, however there is some other checks and tests will be done in ground before firing the missile in the air, if plans are successful, India will be the second country after France having air launched Super Sonic cruise missile launch capability, The French using the Supersonic ASMP A missile for nuclear delivery and using the Rafale for delivering the missile,
Once all such tests passed, HAL will continue works on the first batch of 42 Su 30 MKI fighters to launch the Brahmos missile, such stand off Supersonic missile gives an upper edge to the IAF in the Asian sub continent, means the IAF can strike enemy targets in deep behind the border, and so far there is no real decision taken to modify the Brahmos missile to carry Nuclear warheads, and that plan is just a media speculations.
Brahmos CEO also mentioned about the ongoing project of Brahmos NG with the weight of just 1.5 tons able to be carried in medium fighter jets like Mirage 2000 and MiG 29, also a good chance of increased number of Missiles in front line warships and adding the missile in smaller Ships like Missile corvette's and EEZ patrol vessels, the project expected to be completed before 2019.
As of now there is three variant of Brahmos missiles under operational within the Armed forces, Block I variant used for Anti shipping missions, Block II used for striking land targets from land based launchers, and the newer Block III variant used to strike target situated in deep behind covers, the missile has steep dive capability which can strike targets inside mountain caves too.