Weeks after the Balakot air strikes, the government decided to fast-track integration of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets, a closely guarded strategic project aimed at bolstering combat capability of the Indian Air Force, official sources said Sunday.
They said the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the BrahMos Aerospace Ltd were told to expedite implementation of the project so that it can be completed much before the scheduled deadline of December 2020.
In 2016, the government had decided to integrate the air-launched variant of the Brahmos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets.
Though actual work on the project started by end of 2017, its implementation has been very slow, the sources said.
A review on ways to strengthen the IAF was carried out in the backdrop of the Balakot air strikes and subsequent Pakistani retaliation and it was felt that the early integration of Brahmos on Sukhoi jet should be a priority, they said.
It was felt that the planned induction of Rafale aircraft with deadly Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), procurement of S-400 air defence missile system and integration of Brahmos on Sukhoi will provide India a significant advantage over Pakistani Air Force.
There was a view in the IAF that if it possessed…