New Delhi: India is planning to deploy its 290km range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being developed with Russia.

FGFA is joint venture aircraft development programme between India and Russia under which India will induct 250-300 of these advanced planes. The BrahMos is already being developed for deployment on Su-30MKIs of the Indian Air Force.

"If we are able to reduce the weight of the missile below two tonnes, we can deploy it on the FGFA and we are looking to do that in future," BrahMos Aerospace chief A Sivathanu Pillai said here.

Asked if the missile could be put on other aircraft such as the LCA or the proposed Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA), Pillai said it would not be possible for the LCA as it was a small aircraft.

Asked if there was any plan to export the missile, the BrahMos chief said, "many countries in the world have shown interest in the missile and a Supervisory Council comprising Indian and Russian officials has given clearance for exporting it to friendly countries."

Pillai said the three Services have placed orders worth USD four billion with BrahMos including the orders for the land version of cruise missile by the Indian Air Force.

The BrahMos chief, however, denied that there were disputes between India and Russia over the modifications being carried out in the Su-30MKIs being upgraded to fire-from-the-air version of the missile.

"The trials of launching BrahMos cruise missile from air will begin in 2012 and there will be no delay in the programme due to this," he added.

Underwater weapon delivery platforms

India has developed significant underwater weapon delivery platforms in the recent past including an indigenously-built nuclear submarine INS Arihant and successfully test-fired the nuclear capable 700km range K-15 Shaurya missile.

The Navy is also expecting to get a Russian-made Akula-II class 'Nerpa' nuclear submarine on lease soon.

The test-firing of the BrahMos underwater missile would be done from a pontoon at Integrated Test Range in Balasore on Orissa coast from a DRDO facility.

The same pontoon was used for carrying out the test-firing of the 700-km range K-15 'Shaurya' Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile a couple of years ago.

A ring will have to be fitted in the existing pontoon for fitting-in the BrahMos which has a relatively smaller diameter than the K-15 SLBM.

The under-water cruise missile will have the same capabilities as its earlier variants and would be able to strike at both land and sea-based targets.

BrahMos has been developed jointly by India and Russia and inducted in the Army and the Navy.

The two countries have also signed an agreement for developing the hypersonic version of the missile which currently flies at a speed of 2.8 mach.

Arjun Tank inducted

Over 37 years after the project was commissioned by the government, the indigenous Arjun tank was formally inducted into the 75 Armoured Regiment at a ceremony in Jaisalmer on Saturday.

"Lieutenant General A K Singh, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Southern Command, inducted the tank. The ceremony also marked the passage of T55 tanks from the inventory after forty years of reliable service," a defence spokesperson said.

He said that 45 Arjun tanks were inducted.

The event also marked the 39th Raising day of the regiment, in which over 1000 retired officers and jawans took part.

75 Armoured Regiment is the only Indian armoured regiment to be raised on foreign soil during the 1971 Indo-Pak war at Gadra Road (now in Pakistan)on 12 March 1972, he added.

(JPN/Agencies)