BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, was successfully test fired on Sunday from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea. The missile hit the target successfully with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres. BrahMos as ‘prime strike weapon’ will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges, thus making the destroyer another lethal platform of Indian Navy. The highly versatile BrahMos has been jointly designed, developed and produced by India and Russia.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and Indian Navy for the successful launch. Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, congratulated the scientists and all personnel of DRDO, BrahMos, Indian Navy and industry for the successful feat. He stated that BrahMos missiles will add to the capabilities of Indian armed forces in many ways.
BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features. The missile has flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world. It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15 km and terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters. It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.
Compared to existing state-of-the-art subsonic cruise missiles, BrahMos has 3 times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range, 9 times more kinetic energy. The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch. BrahMos is the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service. Induction of the first version of BrahMos Weapon Complex in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with INS Rajput as the first ship. All future ships being built and ships coming for mid-life upgradation will be fitted with the missile.
The Indian Army has also inducted three regiments of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. It is in service with Ship based Weapon Complex (Inclined & Vertical Configuration), Land based Weapon Complex (Vertical Launch Configuration from Mobile Autonomous Launcher) In Progress, Air launch version (successfully test-fired in 2017, creating history). The cannisterised missile is capable of being launched vertically from underwater and had been successfully flight tested from a submerged platform. Deployment depends on the requirement of the Indian Navy or navies of friendly countries. The air launched version has been developed and has lesser weight and additional rear fins for aerodynamic stability during separation from the aircraft during launch. The missile has gone through complete cycle of ground trials. The required modifications in SU-30 MKI for interface with the missile launcher and integration with the weapon control of the aircraft are being carried out together with Indian Air Force and Sukhoi Design Bureau. BrahMos missile created history on 22nd Nov 2017 after it was successfully flight-tested first time from the Indian Air Force‘s (IAF) frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal.