DRDO has successfully test-fired supersonic cruise missile under extreme weather conditions, as part of the service life extension programme for Indian Army. The missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha.
During the test missile followed designated trajectory and its key components functioned perfectly. It again proved its all-weather capability, flying in sea state 7, with waves as high as nine metres. Sea state is the degree of turbulence at sea, generally measured on a scale of 0 to 9 according to average wave height.
The test was conducted on the heels of earlier two trials conducted on May 21 and 22, 2018 in which the major sub-systems manufactured indigenously under the ‘Make in India’ campaign were successfully tested to increase missile’s life from 10 to 15 years.
BrahMos is supersonic cruise missile developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint-venture between Russia’s Mashinostroyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It has been named after two rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva (river in western Russia). The missile has established itself as major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable land-attack, anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities.
Stages: It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant. It is self-propelled guided missile that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift.
Payload: It is capable of carrying warhead of 300 kilogram (both conventional as well as nuclear).
Accuracy: It operates on ‘fire and forget principal’. It is claimed that missile has strike accuracy rate of 99.99%. It has enhanced destructive power due to large kinetic energy (because of supersonic speed) on impact. It has unique feature of quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.
Speed: It has top supersonic speed of Mach 2.8 to 3 (roughly three times speed of sound). It is hailed as world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
Range: It was initially capped at 290 km as per obligations of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since India’s entry into this elite club, its range was extended to 450 km and plan is to increase it to 600km.
Launch Variants: It is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets. It follows a variety of trajectories like high, high-low, low, surface-skim etc. It can cruise at altitude up to 15km and terminal altitude of as low as 10 meters.
Induction: It has been already inducted in Indian Army and Navy. The air-launched version of missile was test-fired in November, 2017 for first time from modified Su-30MKI aircraft, making it world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile to be fired from a combat jet against a target.