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Naval version of BrahMos tested

In News:

  • Continuing with its recent tests of BrahMos, India has successfully test-fired the anti-ship naval version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

About: BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

  • BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that can attain speeds 2.8 times that of sound (Mach 2.8).
  • This cruise missile can be guided towards a pre-determined land- or sea-based target.
  • It can be launched from land, sea and air, from warships, submarines, aircraft, and mobile autonomous launchers.
  • Bramhos is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.
  • The original BrahMos is of 290-km range, with development works happening on extending its range.
  • In October 2020, DRDO successfully tested the extended range (400 km) Brah-Mos supersonic surface-to-surface cruise missile or Land-Attack Cruise Missile (LACM).

Development:

  • BrahMos is being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Mashinostroyenia of Russia. The name BrahMos is an amalgam of the names of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
  • Russia still supplies the missile’s ramjet propulsion system and seeker technology, while India provides the inertial navigation system and fire control system.
  • Meanwhile, India is making a concerted effort over the last few years to incrementally indigenize the various components and subsystems of the BrahMos missile.
    • For example, in 2018, BrahMos successfully flight-tested for the first time with an Indian seeker.
    • In 2020, a BrahMos missile featuring an indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested.

Will be hypersonic in the future:

  • A newer version under development is aimed at flying at speeds greater than Mach 5.  These are called hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • Besides decreasing the reaction time of the enemy, higher speeds also substantially reduce the chances of the missile getting intercepted.

Induction into Indian armed forces:

  • Army: Indian Army already has BrahMos Regiment deployed on western and eastern borders.
    • The Army variant is capable of striking targets in urban environments.
  • Navy: The first version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2005, meant to be fired from INS Rajput. Since then, it has been integrated with various Indian Navy warships.
    • The anti-ship variant augments the Navy’s first strike capabilities.
  • IAF: IAF is testing the air-launched versions of the missiles from the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, and will soon induct them into their arsenal.
    • IAF is testing missiles that could hit both land-based and sea-based targets. This can help IAF strike both in the Indian Ocean as well as in strikes across the Indian border.

News Summary:

  • The Brahmos AShM (Anti Ship Missile) was successfully test fired, from the Indian Navy’s Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay.
  • The missile, with a strike range of about 300 km, hit a decommissioned target ship in the Bay of Bengal.
  • This latest test comes as a part of a series of tests carried out by the DRDO in the last two months, test-firing the India’s tactical cruise missile triad, in the backdrop of ongoing tensions with China across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
    • Apart from the Navy testing the Brahmos, the Indian Army in the recent months tested the surface-to-surface version while the Indian Air Force test-fired the air to land/sea version.
  • BrahMos is one of the most advanced weapons in India’s armoury.
  • In the recent years, BrahMos has emerged as the primary precision-strike conventional weapon for the armed forces.
  • The original 290-km range BrahMos, jointly developed with Russia, has already been deployed in Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh during the ongoing military confrontation with China.

Significance of the latest test:

  • 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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