BHUBANESWAR: Indian armed forces scripted history by successfully conducting four tests of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos in eight days. The latest trial conducted by the Navy from a guided stealth destroyer hit the target ship in the Bay of Bengal with pin-point accuracy on Tuesday.
For the first time, the world's most potent and fastest operational missile was flight tested by the three services of the Indian armed forces -- Army, Air Force and Navy as part of combat readiness of the weapon system. This was the fourth test in eight days and the seventh mission this year.
"No other country has so far executed a mission like this earlier. All three forces of India conducted live trials of the surface-to-surface version of the missile that destroyed targets after performing highly complex manoeuvres," a senior defence official told The New Indian Express.
The anti-ship version of the missile fired from INS Ranvijay, an SNF class destroyer at about 9 am, hit the target, a decommissioned ship at maximum range.
Defence sources said, all telemetry and tracking stations including naval ships near the terminal point have confirmed the success trial. The first in the series was on November 24 when the Army had test-fired a land-attack version of the missile. This was followed by two trials of the land version separately by the Army and Air Force from different angles on one target, next day.
“The tests were conducted in complete coordination of all three services amid logistic and operational challenges that the armed forces face during wars. However, the back-to-back successful trials have re-established the reliability and operational expertise,” the official said.
A joint venture of India and Russia, BrahMos is known for its precision strike capabilities as it has hit the bull's eye with 99.9 per cent accuracy during more than 80 trials conducted so far making it the world's best cruise missile in its class.
Commissioned since 1988, INS Ranvijay is equipped with dual anti-ship missile complexes, including four Styx systems in inclined launchers and eight BrahMos missiles in vertical launching system besides the dual air defence systems and one anti-submarine launcher.
“With the successful mission, the Indian armed forces once again proved its capability to knock down enemy targets at any complex conditions. Never in the history such feat has been accomplished by any other weapon system and we are proud to complement the armed forces with the best missile system,” CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace Sudhir Kumar Mishra said.
The nine meter long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing upto 300 kg. Its strike range has been extended from 290 km to 450 km. The missile can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metre.
The missile has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable anti-ship and land-attack capabilities besides the multi-role and multi-platform abilities. It has been deployed in all the three wings of the Indian armed forces.
The first launch of Brahmos took place in 2001 and till date numerous launches have taken place from various ships, mobile autonomous launchers and Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, making it a versatile weapon.
Secretary of Defence Research and Development department ande Chairman of DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated Indian Navy for the successful test.