BrahMos supersonic missile with longer range successfully test fired
Amid tensions with China in the Ladakh sector India on Wednesday successfully test-fired an extended-range BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore in Odisha that can hit targets 400 km away, officials familiar with the development said.
The range has been increased from the existing 290 km.
“The missile featuring an indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested for designated range at 1030 hours on Wednesday…It is one more major step in enhancing the indigenous content,” a defence ministry spokesperson said. The missile was tested for the second time.
The missile cruised at a top speed of Mach 2.8 (nearly three times the speed of sound). The configuration of the existing missile --- the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile --- has been tweaked to enhance its range, the officials said.
Increasing the missile’s range became possible after India’s induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the BrahMos missile has achieved another milestone.
“Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile has achieved yet another milestone with successful test launch showcasing enhanced operational capabilities and additional indigenous technologies. Congratulations to all the scientists and engineers. @DRDO_India @BrahMosMissile,” Modi tweeted.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh also congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation and BrahMos Aerospace for the successful flight testing of the missile.
“This achievement will give a big boost to India’s #AtmaNirbharBharat Pledge,” the minister tweeted.
The existing BrahMos missile is deployed in the eastern Ladakh theatre where India and China are locked in a border row, the officials said.
The successful launch has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful weapon system, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The missile, which has land, air and naval variants, is an Indo-Russian joint venture.
India is also working on a hypersonic missile, BrahMos-II (K), capable of taking out hardened targets such as underground bunkers and weapon storage facilities at seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) or 8,575 kmph.