BHUBANESWAR: India on Saturday successfully conducted maiden test of extended-range supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from a defence base off Odisha coast.
The technology upgrade comes after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which removed caps on the strike range of BrahMos. The range has been now enhanced from 290 km to 450 km.
Defence sources said the missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher (MAL) deployed in full configuration at Chandipur-based launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 11.30 am.
The missile took off successfully and hit the designated target meeting all mission parameters. All telemetry and tracking stations including naval ships near terminal point have tracked the trajectory.
Confirming that the mission was successful, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Brahmos Aerospace Limited Dr Sudhir Kumar Mishra, who witnessed the launch, described it as a ‘text book launch’ executed with high precision.
“In a historical first, the formidable missile system once again proved its mettle to precisely hit enemy targets at much higher range. The land-attack version of the supersonic cruise system met its mission parameters in a copybook manner,” he said.
The unique weapon system has empowered all three wings of the Indian armed forces with impeccable anti-ship and land attack capability.
“With the successful test firing, the armed forces will be empowered to knock down enemy targets far beyond 400 km. BrahMos has proved its prowess once again as the best supersonic cruise missile system in the world,” Dr Mishra claimed.
DRDO Chairman Dr S Christopher congratulated the BrahMos team, DRDO and scientists of Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) involved in the successful mission.
The nine-meter-long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing upto 300 kg.
The missile can be fired on three different targets or in a variety of other combinations near simultaneously. The land-based version is also equipped with inertial navigation system and global positioning system.
“The strike range was enhanced only with better internal systems including fuel management. There was no change in other dimensions,” informed an official associated with the project.
The missile, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskova rivers, was developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture after the two countries signed an agreement in February 1998.
The Indian army is the first army in the World to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missile with advanced capabilities.