A naval version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired on Sunday from the Navy’s indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea, The Indian Express reported quoting the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The missile hit the target with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex man oeuvres, the MoD said in its official statement on Sunday.
It also said the BrahMos as the “prime strike weapon” will ensure the warship’s “invincibility” by engaging naval surface targets at long range and making the destroyer a lethal platform.
While versions of the missile have been in India’s arsenal for long, the weapon system is continuously upgraded and updated with new hardware and software systems. These upgrades necessitate periodic tests. Scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in every such test of a specific variant of the BrahMos, different parameters were examined. For each test, additional hardware and software systems were examined based on inputs from the user, and against more complex targets under different atmospheric conditions, they added.
Scientists also said test results and observations were crucial inputs not just for calibrating the system but also for advancement and upgrade. The present supersonic version could reach a speed of 2.8 times that of sound (2.8 Mach) and hit a target at the range of around 450 km, and a hypersonic version of the missile, capable of reaching a speed of 5 Mach was being developed.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and the Navy for the successful launch. Dr G Satheesh Reddy, chairperson of DRDO, congratulated scientists and all the personnel of DRDO, BrahMos, Navy and the industry. He said the BrahMos missile will add to the capabilities of the Armed Forces in many ways.
Cruise missiles like the BrahMos are a type of system known as “standoff range weapons”, which are fired from a range sufficient to allow the attacker to evade defensive fire from the adversary. These weapons are in the arsenals of most major militaries in the world. BrahMos Aerospace was set up in 1998 with the aim to build such missiles.
Commissioned in 2016, the indigenously designed Kolkata-class stealth-guided missile destroyer, the INS Chennai is designed to carry the BrahMos surface-to-surface missile system, thus giving the ship the capability to strike at shore-based and naval surface targets.
An amalgamation of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, the BrahMos is designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.
Various versions of the BrahMos, including those that can be fired from land, warships, submarines and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, have already been developed and successfully tested in the past.
In December last year, DRDO, Air Force and BrahMos Aerospace conducted two separate successful tests, one each from land and air platforms. The one from the air platform was fired from the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft onto a sea target. In May last year, the Air Force successfully tested the missile against a land-based target in the Car Nicobar region.