In a major boost to the strike capability of Indian Air Force, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile — Brahmos — on Wednesday created history when it was successfully test-fired from a Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet against a target in the Bay of Bengal.
With this, Brahmos completes the cruise missile triad, which means it can be launched from land, sea and air. The supersonic cruise missile has already been successfully launched from sea and land. With today’s achievement, the armed forces have got a shot in the arm.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) team and Indian Air Force.
“Delighted on the successful maiden test firing of Brahmos ALCM from Su-30MKI. Congratulations to all those associated with this remarkable feat. @DRDO India,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 22, 2017
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also congratulated the team of defence scientists on the successful test-fire of the missile.
“India creates a world record and completes Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad by successfully testing #BRAHMOS #ALCM from Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft. Smt @nsitharaman congratulates Team Brahmos & @DRDO_India for this historic achievement,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
India creates a world record and completes Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad by successfully testing #BRAHMOS #ALCM from Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft. Smt @nsitharaman congratulates Team Brahmos & @DRDO_India for this historic achievement.
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) November 22, 2017
This test effectively gives the Indian armed forces the ability to fire Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). According to a post-launch press release by the Ministry of Defence, the successful test firing “will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.”
The Brahmos ALCM weighs 2.5 tonnes and, till date, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on the Su-30 MKI. The aircraft was specially modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for giving it the missile-carrying capability. The missile is first propelled by a solid propellant booster engine which 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.
The armed forces now have a multi-platform, multi-mission cruise missile that can be launched from land, sea and air. 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 Indian supersonic cruise missile known to be in service.
The air-launched version of the missile is less in weight and its additional rear fins add to its 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.
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. Brahmos derives its name from the two rivers, Brahmaputra and Moskva.