Cruise missile Current Affairs
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BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from mobile launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore (Chandipur), Odisha to validate some new features aimed at increasing its life from 10 to 15 years. The successful test will help in huge savings of replacement cost of BrahMos missiles held in inventory of Indian armed forces. It makes it first Indian missile whose life has been extended from 10 to 15 years.
BrahMos is supersonic cruise missile developed by 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).
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. It operates on ‘fire and forget principal’. It is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets.
It is claimed that missile has strike accuracy rate of 99.99% and it follows a variety of trajectories like high, high-low, low, surface-skim etc. It is capable of carrying warhead of 300 kilogram (both conventional as well as nuclear) and 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.
Its range was initially capped at 290 km as per obligations of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since India’s entry into the elite club, its range was extended to 450 km and plan is to increase it to 600km. 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.
Pakistan has successfully test-fired its indigenously designed and built nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) Babur III. The missile was fired from underwater dynamic platform and successfully engaged its target with precise accuracy, meeting all the flight parameters.
Babur-III is the naval variant of the land-based Babur-II. The missile is capable of delivering various types of payloads including nuclear. It incorporates advanced technologies, including underwater controlled propulsion and sophisticated guidance and navigation features. The missile has strike range of 450 km.
This is only the second time that Pakistan has announced test of SLCM Babur-III missile, with first test being conducted in January 2017. Duringfirst test, Babur-III was launched from unidentified underwater mobile platform.
Babur-III missile provides Pakistan’s military credible second strike capability. Pakistan has been working hard with China’s help on developing this capability to carry out retaliatory nuclear strike even after enemy’s nuclear attack destroys or neutralises its land-based nuclear arsenal. India already has it.