Hypersonic version of Brahmos on the way

Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu): A hypersonic version of Brahmos missile that can fly at Mach 7 (seven times speed of sound) is being evaluated and companies in India and Russia are working overtime to design and develop various components for it.

"For this version, a new engine has to be developed, as also new materials to withstand high temperature and vibrations.

They have got to be on board with supportive electronic systems. Numerous industries in Russia and India are involved in design and development of components and sub systems," Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace told PTI.

He said the Indian Institute of Science and Moscow Aviation Institute would be involved in Research and Development of critical components for the hypersonic version.

However, details on bilateral investment and financing the project is yet to be arrived at, Pillai said.

He said integration of Brahmos into Sukoi-30MK-I is very much in progress with aircraft structural modification going on at HAL. Trial flights, along with missile testing would hopefully begin by January 2012, he said and expressed confidence the air version would be commissioned by that year.

He said Brahmos Aerospace has augmented production at all three of manufacturing centres in Hyderabad, Pilani and Thiruvanathanpuram to cater to the substantial orders received from the Armed forces.

Pillai said they would soon bring out revised missile versions with fresh Seeker heads with precision delivery.

Presently, 20 major industries and 20 plus small and medium enterprises across India are involved in producing various components and accessories for BrahMos missile project.

BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between India`s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia`s NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.