BALASORE: The stage is all set for a crucial developmental test of an advanced version of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos. With advanced seeker software, this high speed nuclear capable missile is likely to be test-fired from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Tuesday.
Defence sources said preparation for the trial has been completed and the missile will be blasted off from the launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR), about 15 km from Balasore. This new BrahMos missile, which has a strike range of around 300 km and capability to fly at a speed of Mach 3, is a joint venture of India and Russia.
Scientists from Russia have been camping here along with the scientists of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL). “It will be fired from a mobile autonomous launcher (MAL) which is an autonomous vehicle with its own communication, power supply and fire control system. BrahMos is a formidable weapon system with its unmatched speed, precision and devastating power,” the source said.
The test is aimed at gauging efficiency of the weapon system’s superior version which is incorporated with an advanced seeker software having target discriminating capabilities. The missile having such capabilities can distinguish a particular target from a group of targets.
The missile has been developed as a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM). The missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Moskva.
Earlier, the Block-I version of the missile has undergone several tests from variety of platforms including ship and submarine besides a land based test from the Pokhran range in the desert, in which the ‘S’ maneuver at Mach 2.8 was demonstrated for the army and a launch in which the land attack capability from sea was demonstrated.
The 8.4 metre missile is capable of carrying conventional warheads of up to 300 kg. The land-based version is equipped with inertial navigation system and global positioning system. It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres for surgical strikes at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage.
BrahMos is the only supersonic cruise missile possessing this advanced capability in the World providing an edge to the user with precise hit. The Indian army is the first army in the world to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missile with advanced capabilities.
The Army has begun induction of the BrahMos Block-I version from 2007 after a series of successful test firings proving the missile’s maneuvering power, precision hitting of the target and other operative capabilities.