The Indian Army on Tuesday successfully launched BrahMos, a supersonic land attack cruise missile, at Car Nicobar Islands in a “top-attack” configuration, hitting a target in Bay Bengal. The launch is said to be the first in a series of various versions of the missile in the coming days, in a display of India’s tactical cruise missile triad.
The test by the Army comes over a month after the Naval version of BhahMos was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea.
Posting a video of the test, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command of the Indian Army tweeted, “Indian Army successfully launched its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on November 24 in a top-attack configuration, hitting a target in the Bay of Bengal with pin point accuracy.”
Most modern missiles, including BrahMos, can be fired in both top-attack and direct attack modes. In top attack mode, the missile is required to climb sharply after launch, travel at a certain altitude and then plunge on top of the target. In direct attack mode, the missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target. The test was conducted from Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos. Officials said more tests of the supersonic cruise missile are slated to be conducted by the Navy and the Indian Air Force in the coming days. These tests are a display of India’s tactical cruise missile triad — launch capability from land, sea and air platforms, they added.
While versions of the BrahMos missile have been in India’s arsenal for long, the weapon system is continuously tested for examining its hardware and software systems. In every such test of a specific variant of the BrahMos, different parameters are put to examination. The present supersonic version can reach a speed of 2.8 times that of sound (2.8 Mach). A hypersonic version of the missile, capable of reaching a speed of 5 Mach, is under development.
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An amalgamation of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Mashinostroyenia of Russia. Various versions of 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.
A press statement from the Army said, “On November 24, approximately 1003 hours IST, the Indian Army successfully test fired a BrahMos Land Attack Cruise Missile using a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) from Car Nicobar Islands, against a designated target located at a range of approximately 200 kilometers in the Bay of Bengal. During this successful test launch, the missile demonstrated the weapon’s unmatched lethal ability and formidable precision strike capability.”
The release added, “The land attack version of BrahMos, with capability of cruising at 2.8 Mach speed, is the cutting edge of the Indian Army since 2007. The present Block III version of the missile has successfully executed four operational launches in the past. With the upgraded capability, the missile can hit targets at a range of up to 400 kilometer with precision. The launch marks the achievement of a critical milestone in enhancing India’s capability of engaging enemy’s vitally important targets in depth areas. The launch was witnessed by various dignitaries who lauded the commendable effort demonstrated during the successful execution of the launch.”