Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Wednesday suggested to BrahMos Aerospace, the Indian-Russian joint venture, to develop next generation smaller version of its supersonic cruise missile for enhancing fire powers of MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and the LCA Tejas like it has done to Sukhoi-30MKIs.

Speaking at the BrahMos User Meet 2023, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said the pairing of BrahMos missile, the most lethal air-combat asset, with the Su-30MKI has multiplied “deterrence value” of the IAF and will give strategic advantage even at northern borders.

“As the situation unfolded in northern borders three years ago, we realised that the potent weapon can be used very effectively for land attacks... In future, next-generation BrahMos or a small version that can be fitted onto smaller platforms like MiG-29, Mirage 2000 or even the LCA,” said the IAF Chief.

Last year, the IAF had successfully tested extended range version of BrahMos, launched from SU-30MKI to hit a ship target 450 km away.

“The combination of BrahMos on the Sukhoi Su-30 has really given us tremendous capability that has enhanced our firepower. It has made the deterrence value of the IAF go up by leaps and bounds,” Chaudhari commented. He also stated the supersonic missile has really galvanised the way we will equip ourselves with precision firepower in the coming years. “Seeing the conflicts that are happening across the globe the importance of precision, long range firepower can’t be underscored,” IAF Chief stated.

Since 2014, the BrahMos, classified as the best in its category, is working to develop a smaller missile with low weight under Vision 2050 programme that can also be mounted on copters too to give forces strategic depth. The Indian Russian JV is also working to double the range of the supersonic missile and develop its hypersonic version as well.

Given the backdrop of China continuing to scale up its infrastructure and weaponising its troop deployed along the LAC, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande, who also spoke at the event, stated that India stood enabled for deterrence as well as for carrying out robust response, if needed.

“Due to our legacy issues of unsettled borders and related security challenges, possession of strategic deterrence instruments in our case is essential. And the three services of the defence forces as users of the Brahmos missile system, now stand enabled to not just stand deterrence but also to respond robustly when required,” General Pande told the gathering.

He also stated the nation is at the cusp of a transformational changes and the country’s stature is growing globally leading to higher expectations from the world community. “Our concurrent growth and development, and the rising aspirations of our people, all reflect the confident optimism of a rising nation,” he observed.