Supersonic Missile Current Affairs

BrahMos cruise missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI for first time

The world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test fired from Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet for the first time.

The missile was gravity dropped from Su-30MKI from its fuselage and two-stage missile’s engine fired up and was propelled towards the intended target in Bay of Bengal.

Significance

It was for first time that missile was successfully tested from fighter aircraft against sea-based target. It makes IAF first air force in world to have successfully fire air-launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category. This test effectively gives Indian armed forces especially IAF ability to fire Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). With this, India also created world record and completed Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad by successfully test firing of Brahmos from IAF Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft.

BrahMos cruise missile

The Brahmos is supersonic cruise missile developed by joint-venture between Russia’s Mashinostroyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 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 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 two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.

It is hailed as the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. Its range was extended 600-km plus and capability to strike the targets with pinpoint accuracy after India became member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016. The Indian Navy and Army already operate different variants of Brahmos missile.

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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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