India and Russia are reportedly working on a new variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that can destroy an enemy’s AWACS aircraft (Airborne Warning and Control System) using Indian Tejas jets as a platform.
While the predecessors of the missiles were able to destroy the land and sea-based targets, the new variant will be used to shoot down aerial targets and are expected to be launched by 2024.
According to multiple reports including by Sputnik News, Joint Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, suggested that the new missiles will boast of different target-seeking equipment, while still using the same platform.
He had earlier suggested that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Tejas, the lightweight, single-engine fourth-generation fighter jet will be used as a carrier for the new missile.
AWACS are considered integral to modern warfare, due to their ability to detect and track incoming fighters, cruise missiles, and drones much before ground-based radars, direct friendly fighters during air combat with enemy jets.
They also keep tabs on enemy troop build-ups and movement of warships. The new BrahMos missiles will be increasingly vital for any air force if they can shoot- down enemy AWACS which are often called the ‘Eye in the Sky’
The joint venture defense firm of BrahMos Aerospace was recently cleared by both partner nations India as well as Russia to export the missile to friendly countries.
Tactical Missiles Corporation (TMC) JSC CEO Boris Obnosov, while speaking about the decision said, “This rapidly developing joint venture is one of the best examples of military-technical cooperation” between India and Russia.