BrahMos working to upgrade supersonic missiles to hypersonic

BrahMos Corp is working on increasing the missile speed from Mach 3 to 5, making India the first nation to do so.

Published: 16th February 2017 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2017 03:49 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After adding lethal edge to the Indian Armed Forces, BrahMos Corporation, an Indo-Russian joint venture, is now working on increasing the speed of the supersonic missile to get into hypersonic regime.

“We are trying to increase its speed from Mach 3 to Mach 5. With this, we will enter into the hypersonic regime,’’ Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace told Express. Mishra, a scientist and Chief Controller R&D (BrahMos) at DRDO spoke about the missile capabilities and future plans. The process of integrating the missile on the aircraft is in progress. BrahMos Corporation intends to complete flight tests this year. A certain number of Sukhoi aircraft will have the missile.

“We have been reinventing ourselves every two to three years. BrahMos is a universal supersonic missile. We are trying to miniaturise the existing missile. We have named it BrahMos NG. It is still on the drawing board and we are talking to various users. We have not committed the funds to it yet. In BrahMos NG, we are trying to bring its weight to 1.4 tonne and the range will be smaller at 120-250 km,” Mishra said.

Many aircraft including LCA will be able to carry BrahMos NG. “The idea is to mass produce the missile so that we can integrate it on a variety of platforms. It is a new business initiative and we see a huge market for it in India and abroad,” he said.

The missile cruises (at supersonic speed) at the land level, close to the surface and one gets around 20 seconds to react. In those 20 seconds, one cannot fire a missile against it. Just before hitting the target, the missile makes an S manoeuvre and it is impossible to engage it. These can take down a subsonic cruise missile, Mishra said.

Efforts are on to improve warhead performance and accuracy of the missile. India is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime. India is the only country to develop a supersonic cruise missile and when it makes a hypersonic cruise missile, it will again be the only country to do so.

“From BrahMos side, we are ready to increase the production rate. Our production rate, supply chain management and components manufacturers are ready,” he said.

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