THE Naval version of the BrahMos missile was successfully test fired on Tuesday morning from the Indian Navy’s Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, hitting a decommissioned target ship in the Bay of Bengal, as part of a series of tests of the supersonic cruise missile.
On November 24, the Indian Army had successfully launched BrahMos from Car Nicobar Islands in a ‘top-attack’ configuration hitting a target in Bay Bengal. The launch was first in a series of launches of the various versions of the missile over the following days in a display of India’s tactical cruise missile triad. The November 24 test was followed by two tests the next day – one by the Army and another by IAF.
Indian Navy tweeted from its official handle on Tuesday, “Indian Navy hones its combat readiness. Brahmos AShM (Anti Ship Missile) launched by INS Ranvijay strikes the target ship at max range with pinpoint accuracy in Bay of Bengal.” The Ministry of Defence said in an official statement that the test was conducted at 9 am and that ”The missile performed highly complex manoeuvres and hit bull’s eye of the target.”
INS Ranvijay is a Rajput-class destroyer warship of the Indian Navy. This class of Russian origin destroyer warship is built to launch missiles for operations against various surface, air and underwater targets. The earliest of the naval versions of BrahMos was first fired from this class of ships.
In September and October, too, the Army, Navy and IAF versions of BrahMos were tested. On September 30, BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic Land-Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) featuring an indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was flight tested from Integrated Test Range.
On October 17, the naval version of BrahMos was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea. On October 30, it was fired from a Sukhoi jet that took off from a fighter aircraft base in Punjab and the missile hit a target in the Bay of Bengal.
A combination 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. The first test launch of the initial version BrahMos took place in 2001. Various types of the BrahMos missile, including those which can be fired from land, warships, submarines and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, have already been developed and successfully tested since then.
The versions of the BrahMos that are presently being tested have an extended range of 400 kilometres, as compared to its initial range of 290 kilometres with more versions of higher ranges currently under development.
The Indian Navy began inducting BrahMos on its frontline warships from 2005 and has the capability to hit sea-based targets beyond its radar horizon. The naval version has been successful tested time and again in sea-to-sea and sea-to-land modes.
The BrahMos from ship can be launched as a single unit or in a salvo up to eight in numbers separated by 2.5 second intervals. These salvos can hit and destroy a group of frigates having modern missile defence systems. BrahMos as a ‘prime strike weapon’ for ships significantly increases their capability of engaging naval surface targets at long ranges.
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