With successful test firing of block-III version of BrahMos missile, the Indian Army has strengthened its position as the first army in the world to have a regiment of a supersonic cruise missile regiment with advanced capabilities.
Developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture, the cruise missile met its mission parameters in a copybook manner as confirmed by tracking station.
Dubbed as one of the most lethal weapons systems that currently exist in the world, BrahMos is capable of flights at supersonic speeds, making it hard for enemy radar to track.
Experts opine that BrahMos Block 3 is superior to Chinese DF-21, which was designed to destroy ships and aircraft carriers.
Land-Attack Version of BrahMos
The land attack variant of supersonic cruise missile has further bolstered India’s attack capabilities. At the speed of Mach-3, it is practically impossible for modern anti-missile and air defence systems to stop it.
Developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture, the missile can be fired on three different targets or in a variety of other combinations near simultaneously.
Why BrahMos is Feared?
Its high precision and penetration capabilities can effectively pierce the hull of a free-floating ship. Its Mach 3 velocity clubbed with an extremely high explosive warhead can tear apart aircraft carriers in one strike.
Can be Fired from Land, Sea, and Air
Hundreds of BrahMos missiles have already been inducted into the Indian Army and almost all Indian front-line warships now boast of this supersonic cruise missile.
BrahMos’ strike range was recently increased from 290 km to 450 km following the technology upgradation. During Tuesday’s test,the missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher in full operational configuration.
Multiple Targets for Multiple Launchers:
The BrahMos isn’t just an antishipping weapon—it also can hit ground-based targets, and is ideal for precision attacks against fixed installations such as radars, command centers, airbases and enemy missile batteries. It can also potentially carry a 660-pound nuclear warhead, though that doesn’t appear to be its primary intended use.
There are quite a few variants of the BrahMos missile designed to be used by the different platforms of the Indian military against either land or naval targets.
The Indian Navy’s BrahMos missiles mostly use eight-cell Vertical Launch System launchers. Six of its frigates and two destroyers have a single BrahMos launcher, while three of its destroyers have twin launchers. More BrahMos equipped ships are under construction.
The Navy has also successfully tested in 2013 a submarine-launched version which is expected to enter service in future vessels. Submarine-launched BrahMoses could potentially be launched fairly close to the target without being detected.
India has also developed the BrahMos-A, designed to be launched from its Su-30MKI strike fighters. Finding a ways to mount such a heavy missile on a fighter plane has taken years of work—in the end, the Su-30s had to be specially modified for the task. The first test flight was carried out in June this year. India has already requisitioned two hundred BrahMos-As, and plans to convert forty Su-30MKIs to carry them. This offers yet another flexible means to deliver the missiles close enough to their intended targets.
India will also soon introduce the next-generation BrahMos-NG, which is smaller (only three thousand pounds,) faster (Mach 3.5,) and stealthier (smaller Radar-Cross Section.) It should be deployable from land, sea and air systems, including multiple missiles carried on fourth-generation fighters.
BrahMos Hypersonic Missile
Additionally, India will soon be testing a scramjet-powered hypersonic BrahMos II missile capable of zipping along at Mach 7. Needless to say, these would be even harder to detect and shoot down and afford defending ships just seconds to react. The U.S. military has only just begun development a hypersonic missile of its own.