11 Sep : India on Sunday test-fired the 290-km range BrahMos cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off Orissa coast as part of trials by the defence forces to fine-tune its capability.
“It was a user’s trial by the defence forces,” said a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official soon after the missile blasted off from a mobile launcher at about 11.35 AM from ITR’s launch complex-3.
BrahMos-II can potentially be used for surgical strikes, including at terror camps, without causing collateral damage.
The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound carrying conventional warheads up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km and can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres.
Though the missile is capable of being launched from multiple platforms, focus in on the development of its air-launched and the submarine-launched versions.
BrahMos, developed jointly with Russia, is a supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from submarines, ships, aircraft and land-based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL).
A regiment of the BrahMos-I variant, consisting of 67 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12×12 Tatra vehicles and two mobile command posts, among other equipment, is already operational in the Army.
Similarly, the Navy has begun inducting the first version of BrahMos missile system in all its frontline war ships since 2005, defence sources said.
The Army, on its part, is set to induct two more regiments of the BrahMos Block-II land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), which have been designed as ‘precision strike weapons’ capable of hitting small targets in cluttered urban environments, they said.
The BrahMos Block-II variant has been developed to take out a specific small target, with a low radar cross-section, in a multi-target environment.
The BrahMos missile is a two-stage vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ram-jet system.
The first flight test of the BrahMos was conducted on 12th June, 2001 at the ITR at Chandipur in Orissa coast and the last trial of the naval version of BrahMos was carried out in a vertical mode successfully on 21st March, 2010 from Indian navy ship INS Ranvir off Orissa coast.