In a strategically significant move, the government has decided to fast-track integration of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets under a closely-guarded project.
Official sources said the decision to speed upimplementation of the "strategic" project was taken nearly six weeksafter the Balakot air strikes and subsequent Pakistani retaliation.
State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)and the BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL), an Indo-Russia joint venture, areimplementing the project.
Considering IAF's requirement, both HAL and BAPL weredirected to expedite implementation of the project so that it can be completedmuch before the scheduled deadline of December 2020, sources said. The Brahmos,the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, coupled with the superlativeperformance of the Sukhoi aircraft will give the IAF a strategic reach and willallow it to dominate the ocean and the battle fields in the region, accordingto an assessment by the IAF.Sources said the government had carried out areview of IAF's February 26 air strikes deep inside Pakistan's Balakot and theconsensus was that the adversary would not have dared to retaliate the next dayif India possessed superior air defence system as well as strike capability.