India on Wednesday test-fired the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, from an undersea platform for the first time off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
The missile took off vertically from a submerged platform, followed a predetermined trajectory and achieved its full range of 290 km.
“All the telemetry and tracking stations, including Indian warships positioned throughout the flight path, confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission,” a BrahMos official said.
The BrahMos sub-sea launch was conducted in the hope that the navy would deploy the missile on India’s next-generation submarines that can stay underwater for more than three weeks.
India plans to invest more than Rs. 55,000 crore on six new subs for the navy, under a project codenamed P75 (I).
BrahMos Aerospace CEO A Sivathanu Pillai said, “The missile is ready for fitment in P75 (I). It will make the platform one of the most powerful weapon platforms in the world.”
It flies at more than 2.8 times the speed of sound or roughly a km per second --- the missile takes under six minutes to destroy a target 290 km away.
Land and ship-launched variants of the missile, which can carry a 300-kg warhead, have already been inducted.
An underwater launch is far more complex than firing the missile from land or ship.