NEWDELHI: The Indian Army on Sunday test-fired the indigenous BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at Pokhran range in Rajasthan. With this launch, the Army has two operational regiments of BrahMos in its
inventory (each regiment comprising 65 missile systems).
Top brass of the Indian Army -- Vice-Chief Lt Gen Sri Krishna Singh and Director General Military Operations Lt Gen A K Chaudhary -- were present during the launch.
The BrahMos missile, which takes its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, has 290-km range and carries 300-kg conventional warhead. It can achieve speeds of up to 2.8 Mach or nearly three times the speed of sound.
“In conformity and pursuit of operational and strategic surface-to-surface missile capability development, the second BrahMos unit of Indian Army has been operationalised. The Army unit successfully launched the missile and destroyed the preselected target in the field firing ranges in Rajasthan,” a statement from the Indian Army said.
Cruise missiles fly at low altitudes and have the ability to evade enemy radars and air-defence systems. They are easier and cheaper to operate. Each missile system costs nearly `100 million ($2 million). The first battery of the land-fired missiles comprising four mobile launchers mounted on heavy 12x12 Tatra transporters were inducted in the Indian Army in June 2007. The anti-ship naval version has also been inducted with its integration on the destroyer INS Rajput. Two other ships of the same class would be similarly equipped.
The missiles would also be mounted on the three 7,000-tonne Kolkata class destroyers, currently under construction at Mumbai’s Mazagon docks. The Defence Ministry has also approved procurement of a third regiment of BrahMos, to be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh along the Indo-China border.
Plans are afoot to modify the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets to fit the air-fired version of the missile on the aircraft.