At a time when an escalating 40-day border standoff has led to a savage clash with multiple casualties in Indian and Chinese army units in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, the Indian military has just welcomed a new weapon into its operational arsenal.
While the brutal violence that exploded on a lonely ridge in eastern Ladakh on the night of June 15 saw the use of Chinese nail-studded clubs, barbed-wire wrapped rods and rocks to inflict medieval-style death and injuries, over 3,500 km away at an air base in South India, a crucial weapon was quietly cleared into combat service.
The Indian Air Force can now fly Su-30 MKI combat missions with the BrahMos-A air-launched supersonic cruise missile. In a final milestone that clears the decks for use in operations, the missile system has just received ‘fleet release clearance’ from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), DRDO, the government’s gatekeeper that provides a final stamp on flying equipment before military use.
The first BrahMos-armed Su-30 MKI jets were inducted into the Indian Air Force’s 222 Squadron ‘Tigersharks’ in January this year at the Thanjavur air force station in Tamil Nadu. (end of excerpt)
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