Skip to comments.Su-30MKI To Get Indian Nirbhay Cruise Missil
Posted on 05/08/2010 8:58:00 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
India intends to integrate a variant of its Nirbhay long-range cruise missile on the Suhkoi Su-30MKI Flanker strike aircraft, following the weapons initial development in the ground-launch configuration.
The addition of the Nirbhay to the Flankers weapons inventory would give the platform a long-rangeand potentially strategicstrike capability. While details on the Nirbhay program remain scant, Indian officials have suggested the weapon will have a range of 800-1,000 km. (500-620 mi.).
An air-launched derivative of the Nirbhay would be a candidate platform for the air force element of Indias strategic nuclear triad ambitions. Packaging of a warhead in the constrained space of a cruise-missile body is a key technical challenge. The current Indian air force nuclear weapon capability consists almost certainly only of free-fall weapons.
The Nirbhay project is being led by Indias Defense Research and Development Organizations (DRDO) Hyderabad-based Advanced Systems Laboratory.
The overall design and aerodynamic study work has been completed, as has the design of the propulsion system. There are suggestions that a mock-up of the design could be displayed at the AeroIndia show in 2011. A transporter erector launch vehicle is already being developed for the ground-launched version of the cruise missile by the DRDOs Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineering).
The acquisition of a 1,000-km.-class cruise missile is part of New Delhis strategy to match and surpass systems being developed by Islamabad. Pakistan is working on a ground-launched cruise missile called the Babur, likely with substantial Chinese help, and is probably receiving support from South Africa in developing the Raad air-launched weapon. The Babur was unveiled in 2005 and the shorter-range Raad was announced in 2007. The service status of both weapons remains uncertain.
(Excerpt) Read more at aviationweek.com ...
Torpedo with wings?