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BrahMos missile successfully test-fired

The land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with an extended range increased from 290 km to 450 km was successfully test fired.

The missile was test fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha. It met its mission parameters fully by achieving 100% results. 

About BrahMos missile

  • BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and Russia.
  • It name has been derived from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
  • Features: It has top supersonic speed of Mach 2.  It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.It is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram, both conventional and nuclear.
  • Range: Its earlier strike range was 290 km. But after India’s induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016, missile’s range has been increased beyond 300km in the same configuration.
  • Another version of the missile with a strike range of 800 km is under development.
  • Deployment: It has already been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy, while the Air Force version is in the final stage of trials. Navy’s first version was inducted in 2005 on INS Rajput.
  • The Indian Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles. Now, it is fully operational with two regiments of the Army.

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India, Russia agree to double the range of BrahMos Missile

India and Russia have agreed to double the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from 290 km to over 600 km.

The decision in this regard was taken during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

Why this decision was taken?

Earlier, India was denied access to the missile technology with range over 300 km as it was not member state of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). But India’s recent accession to MTCR, allowed Russia to provide the critical systems and technology to extend the range of the missile beyond 300km.

Benefits of extending range: It will enhance the stand-off capability and the operational radius in striking targets of the missile. It will have major force multiplier due its speed and accuracy.

Background

India and Russia had teamed up to develop the BrahMos missile in 1998. It is based on the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile. Its range was limited to 290 km as Russia was a member of MTCR but India was not. Due to restrictions under MTCR, Russia was not able provide the critical systems of the missile to increase its range.

What are features of BrahMos Missile?

  • BrahMos is one of its kind supersonic cruise missile. Named from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
  • It operates on fire and forget principal and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets.
  • It is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram and has top supersonic speed of Mach 3 (that is, three times the speed of sound).
  • It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.

The BrahMos Missile already been deployed by Indian Army and Indian Navy in anti-ship and precision strike roles respectively. The air version is at present undergoing testing.

What is Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)?

MTCR was established by G-7 countries in 1987. It is only an informal political understanding and not an official treaty with legally binding obligations. The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), complete rocket systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kms, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

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India becomes 35th member of Missile Technology Control Regime

India became the 35th full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). It would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives.

In this regard, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in New Delhi. It marks India’s first entry into any multilateral export control regime.

India’s accession to the regime was conveyed by the MTCR Point of Contact in Paris through the French Embassy in New Delhi as well as Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

India was able to successfully enter this multilateral export control regime with the unopposed support of all 34 MTCR Partners. Earlier in 2015, India’s bid for the membership to the group had failed after it was blocked by Italy.

Implications

  • By becoming MTCR member, India will now be able to buy high-end missile technology and also can enhance its defence joint ventures with Russia.
  • India’s inclusion to the MTCR will also strengthen its own export controls, which will in turn help it to justify transferring sensitive technology in front of other MTCR members.
  • Further, it will pave way for India’s bid to become the member of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Wassenaar Arrangement (dealing with conventional arms, dual-use goods and technologies) and Australia Group (dealing with chemical weapons).

About Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

MTCR was established by G-7 countries in 1987. The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), complete rocket systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kms, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

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