With an eye to protect the Northeastern states from Chinese incursions, the Army on Monday tested a modified-cum-upgraded Block-III version of its supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, suitable for mountain warfare in a steep dive-cum-target discrimination mode, in Rajasthan’s Pokhran desert.
The testfiring was carried out as an user-trial by the Army’s missile regiment just after 1 PM in the Pokhran missile test range, sources in both the Army and the BrahMos Aerospace said.
“The testfiring was highly successful and the missile, after differentiating among multiple possible targets, hit the bulls eye on its intended target between 40 and 60 km away, which is the maximum range allowed by terrain and habitation constraints in Pokhran,” the sources said.
“The Army had sought modifications in the Block-III version of BrahMos with upgraded target differentiation features, which was provided. This was essentially an user-trial by the Army unit,” the sources said.
“This version of the BrahMos is for mountain warfare,” they added.
India is in the process of raising its first-ever Mountain Strike Corps with headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal as the offensive formation to counter any Chinese misadventure in its Northeastern states.
This version of the BrahMos is likely to be deployed by missile regiments there, sources told ‘Express’ here.
Interestingly, the Army trial was witnessed by Air Force’s Western Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal S S Soman along with Army’s School of Artillery Commandant Lieutenant General A K Misra. The IAF’s interest in BrahMos is due to the work underway to fit a smaller version of the missile on Sukhoi combat planes.
BrahMos, a Indo-Russian joint venture, is a 290-km range missile that can touch speed of three Mach or three times the speed of sound.
The BrahMos is being configured in all three forms of launch -- surface, submarine and air.
It has already been inducted by the Army in its artillery regiments, while the Navy deploys the missile on its surface warships.