With the latest successful testing of BrahMos missilie amidst border conflict with China, India added another milestone to its missile collaboration, a process continuing for more than 30 years.
Crux of the Matter
On 18 October 2020, India successfully test-fired its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. It was launched from INS Chennai, which is a stealth destroyer ship made in India.
The missile has 3 variants: land, air, and naval.
The recent test occurred for the naval variant which has a range of 290 km. It struck the target “with pinpoint accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres”. It has been developed jointly by India and Russia.
Tests On A Roll
India has successfully tested 11 missiles in the last 2 months. Following are the notable tests:
- 30 September: Tested Brahmos (surface to surface) – target range of 400 km.
- 1 October: Tested the Laser-Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM).
- 3 October: Tested Shaurya – hypersonic indigenous missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads
- 10 October: Tested Rudram-1 – first “indigenous anti-radiation missile” of India.
- It is a supersonic cruise missile developed by ‘BrahMos Aerospace’.
- It is a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
- It was formed in 1988 after India and Russia signed an “Inter-Governmental” agreement, with Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam being the signatory from the Indian side.
- The name is derived from the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers of India and Russia respectively.
- The first successful test launch occurred in 2001, when the missile was fired from a stationary launcher.
- 2005: First BrahMos missile was inducted, being inducted in the Indian Navy with INS Rajput.
- Land, submarine, warship variants of the missile have been successfully tested.
- 2010: It also became the first cruise missile to be tested at supersonic speed in “steep-dive” mode in the world.
- 2019: The Sukhoi-30 fighter jet variant was tested. In 2020, the Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter aircraft (equipped with BrahMos) was inducted in the Indian Air Force.
Make In India And Specifications
In 2008, BrahMos Aerospace acquired ‘Keltec’, which is a state-owned Indian firm. The aim of the move was to manufacture its components indigenously. Initially, 10-12% of missile components were made in India. This percentage has increased to 65% as of 2018.
- The Philippines is set to become the first export customer of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile. The country will acquire two batteries of the missile, with each battery including three mobile autonomous launchers with two to three missile tubes each.
- BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) is a mini version based on the existing BrahMos, proposed to be inducted in 2024. It will have the same specifications as Brahmos but will weigh around 1.5 tons, 5 metres in length and 50 cm in diameter, making BrahMos-NG 50 percent lighter and three metres shorter than its predecessor.
- Agni V is India’s first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which can travel up to 5800km – roughly till the northern parts of China.
- Hindustan Times – BrahMos missile test-fired from destroyer INS Chennai in Arabian Sea
- The Hindu Business Line – BrahMos to attain 76% localisation in six months
- Moneycontrol – India test fires BrahMos: Here’s a look at 11 missiles that India tested in the past two months
- Indian Defense News – HOW THE BRAHMOS MISSILE HAS EVOLVED SINCE IT WAS TEST FIRED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THIS DAY IN 2001