The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, one of the most successful products of Indo-Russian military collaboration, is about to get a successor.
The new missile in its hypersonic version will fly much faster than BrahMos. After the successful development of BrahMos, both India and Russia will develop the missile jointly.
Though in the conceptual stage, the new hypersonic missile will have great kinematics energy, range and a powerful scramjet engine to make it a precision lethal weapon. Kinematics is the study of pure motion without regard to force, momentum or energy.
The kerosene-fuelled missile is believed to be much cheaper than the design concepts worked in the western countries.
"The hypersonic missile will have a speed of Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound)," A. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, told IANS at the ongoing defence exposition here.
"Today we are flying BrahMos at Mach 2.8. From that we are going to increase to Mach 5. So, the programme involves developing a new scramjet engine to gain that hypersonic speed."
"It is not against any particular country. We are a peace-loving nation and we are developing missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) to protect ourselves from aggression."
When asked about the export potential of the BrahMos, he said: "Various countries are interested in buying it, but we have not made up our mind whom to sell it to."
The unique feature of this missile is that it will collect air from the atmosphere during its flight stage, liquefy it, separate the oxygen and store it on board for subsequent flight.
The new missile is expected to be a force multiplier for Indian defence forces.