BrahMos air launch completes India’s supersonic cruise missile triad: Five things you need to know

The fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world--the Brahmos-- created history on Wednesday when it was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Indian Air Force's Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 23, 2017 12:50 pm
Brahmos was successfully test-fired The successful test launch of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI completed India’s supersonic cruise missile triad and set a world record making India the first country to have the capability to have such a multi-platform weapon. (AP photo)

The fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world–the Brahmos– created history on Wednesday when it was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal.

The missile was not launched directly from the aircraft, rather it was dropped from under its fuselage. The missile’s two-stage engine then fired up propelling it towards the target at supersonic speeds.

Here are five things you need to know:

1. This test effectively gives the Indian armed forces the ability to fire Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). According to a post launch release by the Ministry of Defence, the successful test firing “will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.”

2. The Brahmos ALCM weighs 2.5 tonne and till date it is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on the Su-30 MKI. The aircraft was especially modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for giving it the missile-carrying capability. The missile is propelled first by a solid propellant booster engine that takes it to supersonic speeds. After it separates, the missile is accelerated further to around three times the speed of sound (mach 3) in the cruise phase with a liquid ramjet.

3. The armed forces now have a multi-platform, multi-mission cruise missile that can be launched from land, sea and air. This completes the tactical cruise missile triad for India which is a world record. The Brahmos cruise missiles have an effective strike range of around 290-300 km. The land and warship versions have already been inducted by the armed forces. It is also first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service. Read | Shot in the arm for India: BrahMos cruise missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi jet

4. The air-launched version of the missile has lesser weight and additional rear fins which add aerodynamic stability while separating from the aircraft. Besides, all three versions have a “fire and forget” principle of operation. It also takes a variety of trajectories while in flight and is equipped with advanced guidance technology. Its stealth features also give it a low radar signature.

5. Brahmos is a joint venture between India and Russia. The missile has been jointly developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPOM. The name Brahmos has been taken as a combination of the two rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.

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  1. V
    Nov 23, 2017 at 1:24 am
    This is yet another feather in UPA's cap. Thanks to the vision of Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi, USSR (now Russia) has been a steadfast and most reliable friend of ours.
    1. R
      Nov 23, 2017 at 12:35 am
      As India is now signatory of MTCR BRAHMOS range can be further increased to 1000 km.
      1. s
        Nov 22, 2017 at 10:40 pm
        Pakistan"s butt must be burning.
        1. I
          Nov 22, 2017 at 9:49 pm
          BRAVO team Brahmos! Having said that, may the opportunity never rise for use of such force.
          1. Ajit Singh Malik
            Nov 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm
            A good day for India and at the same time a warning to potential enemies to behave.
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