India ready to induct BrahMos cruise missile into Air Force by 2014

NEW DELHI, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- India will be ready to induct BrahMos supersonic cruise missile into its Air Force by the end of next year, a top official has said.

"The program for induction of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a speed of Mach 3 into the Indian Air Force will be ready by the end of 2014. BrahMos will be upgraded to a hypersonic cruise missile with a speed of Mach 7 by 2017," Sivathanu Pillai, the chief executive of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, was quoted by the local media as saying in the southern state of Tamil Nadu Monday.

He added, "While Europe, the U.S. and China are in the process of developing such missiles, efforts are under way in India to make Mach 8 possible."

The land-launched and ship-launched versions of BrahMos, the world's fastest cruise missile in operation, are already in service. BrahMos is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra in India and the Moskva in Russia.

The BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited is a joint venture between the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.