Land-attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile being successfully test-fired by the Navy in the Bay of Bengal on Friday
An Indian Naval ship for the first time on Friday fired a land-attack BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. “Land attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was fired for the first time from an Indian Navy’s stealth frigate, off the eastern coast, at a land target,” said a source in the Ministry of Defence. “So, far only anti-ship version of BrahMos had been fired by Indian Navy,” the source added.
The missile was fired from the Indian Naval ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate. The frontline ships of the Indian Navy, including the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships currently have the capability of firing the BrahMos missile. The missile is meant to be used on land based targets from stand-off ranges in sea, from a distance that allows the Indian Navy to avoid defensive fire from the target.
The cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore, Odisha at about 11.33 AM, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said. “It was an excellent launch and a great success,” a senior DRDO scientist associated with this project said. The missile is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kg. The two-stage missile, one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, while the Air Force version is in final stage of trial, they said.
The Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles. While induction of the first version of BrahMos missile system in the Indian Navy began in 2005 with INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army, they said. After two successful test trials of BrahMos missile from INS Kolkata in June 2014 and February 2015, test firing from INS Kochi on September 30, 2015 had validated the newly commissioned ships systems.
The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress. The Army has so far placed orders for the BrahMos missile to be deployed by three regiments of the Army and two of them have already been inducted operationally.
This puts India in a select club of nations with such capability. The land-attack version of BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007. The BrahMos missile, with a range of 290 km and a Mach 2.8 speed, is capable of being launched from land, sea and sub-sea pads against sea and land targets. The missile can be used to precisely neutralise land based targets that are located deep inland and far away from the coast.
BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, is considered the only supersonic cruise missile in the world. The missile was first inducted in the India Navy in 2005. India is developing 450 km and 800 km range BrahMos missiles and an air launched version, designed to be delivered from Su-30 jets. It is also in the development phase. With the sucessful test firing of a land attack supersonic cruise missile, India joins a select group of nations around the world with the capability.