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By Bulbul Singh

10 Mar 11. Following a deadlock over proposed changes, the Russians have agreed to make structural changes in the Indian Air Force SU-30MKI aircraft to enable the BrahMos cruise missile being jointly made by India and Russia to be carried.

The Russians will make changes in the belly of the aircraft to carry the 2.5 tonne BrahMos, however, who will pay for these changes has not been decided.

“The Russians had been demanding payment for making these changes and this issue has now been resolved.” said a DRDO scientist.

Sources said, “The Russians agreed the structural changes after the Indian defence ministry expressed its annoyance at the Russian stance but only after reaching an agreement involving paying a royalty fee.”

BrahMos is being developed as a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia who formed BrahMos Corp.

BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from ships, aircraft or land. The acronym BrahMos is perceived as the confluence of the two nations represented by two great rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. Propulsion is based on the Russian Yakhont missile, and guidance has been developed by BrahMos Corp. At speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8, is the world’s fastest cruise missile. It is claimed about three and a half times faster than the American subsonic Harpoon cruise missile.

BrahMos is 30ft long, with a diameter of 670mm and costs around $3 million each, the weight of the air version has been reduced from 3 to 2.5 tonnes. The BrahMos II model under development, will use a scramjet, instead of a ramjet, in the second stage which will increase the final speed. Unconfirmed sources say that the air version can carry a nuclear warhead.

Trials of the air version of BrahMos are now slotted for 2012, and will be inducted in the Indian Air Force in 2013. The land and sea versions of BrahMos are already inducted in the Indian Army and Navy respectively.

“The air version of BrahMos would be the world’s best and undefeatable combination,” claimed the DRDO scientist.

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