BrahMos: India-Russia create History with 450-km version of Supersonic Cruise Missile

Giving a significant edge to India’s defence preparedness and strike capability, an extended range version of the BrahMos cruise missile has been successfully test fired! India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar lauds DRDO for successful test fire of the Supersonic Cruise Missile

CHANDIPUR: India today successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kg, from a test range along the Odisha coast.

The cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at about 11.33 AM, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said.

DRDO tested the latest 450-km range version of the cruise missile days after its chief announced its development at the Aero India 2017. Talking about today’s test, Praveen Pathak, spokesperson of BrahMos Aerospace said, “The extended range BrahMos hit the target with centimetric accuracy. It’s a big leg up for us. With this new version, all three forces, Army, Navy and IAF will have the capability to strike deep into the enemy’s territory.” “This is the first for the world – a supersonic cruise missile with such a high range,” Pathak told.

“It was an excellent launch and a great success,” a senior DRDO scientist associated with this project said. The missile is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kg. The two-stage missile, one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, while the Air Force version is in final stage of trial, they said.

The Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles.

While induction of the first version of Brahmos missile system in the Indian Navy began in 2005 with INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army, they said.

After two successful test trials of Brahmos missile from INS Kolkata in June 2014 and February 2015, test firing from INS Kochi on September 30, 2015 had validated the newly commissioned ship’s systems.

The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress.

The Army has so far placed orders for the BrahMos missile to be deployed by three regiments of the Army and two of them have already been inducted operationally.

BrahMos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture, is also in advance stage of test launching the air version of the sophisticated missile system and work on the project is in progress.

DRDO chief S Christopher had said that India and Russia have agreed to the enhancement of BrahMos range to 450 km, and the tentative date for the test of the new version of the supersonic cruise missile is March 10. The new 450-km version is likely to send jitters in Pakistan. The news from Aero India also suggested that China will soon have reason to be wary of Brahmos strike power. S Christopher said that yet another version of the BrahMos is under development, and it will have a range of 800 km! According to S Christopher, the missile will be ready for tests in the next two and a half years.

BrahMos has been developed as part of a joint venture between India and Russia, and the missile had an initial range of 290 km. India has been able to work on increasing the range of the BrahMos missile from its current 290 km after it became a member of the prestigious Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

While the Indian Army and Indian Navy have already inducted the 290-km BrahMos, it is likely to clear the final test for IAF in the first half of this year itself. BrahMos has been integrated on the IAF’s Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, and according to Sudhir Mishra, the CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace this is the heaviest missile to be flown on that frontline fighter aircraft. Sources in BrahMos Aerospace told that the missile will be test fired from IAF’s Su-30 MKI sometime in April or May.

As pointed out earlier, a missile as heavy as the BrahMos has never been integrated on a frontline fighter jet like Su-30 MKI. This is a first in the world, and is therefore set to give the IAF a big shot in the arm. BrahMos can penetrate into the enemy’s territory and destroy crucial and strategic assets.

In its current form (290-km), the BrahMos has a maximum velocity of 2.8 Mach and cruises at altitudes varying from 10 metres to 15 km. It can be launched in either inclined or vertical configuration based on the type of the ship. The land-attack version of BrahMos is fitted on an mobile autonomous launcher. BrahMos is also capable of being launched from submarine from a depth of 40-50 metres.

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