The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief S. Christopher on Wednesday said that DRDO is likely to extend the range of its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to 450 km from existing 290 km. The first test is to be conducted on March 10 this year. According to Christopher, the missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land, with the enhanced range. Christopher also added that BrahMos with a range of 800km will be ready in next two and a half years. The BrahMos, a supersonic cruise missile that carries warheads weighing up to 300 kg and strike targets on land and at sea.
BrahMos is a joint venture between the Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s DRDO who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace. It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. It’s cruising altitude could be up to 15 km and the terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters.
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Since late 2004, the missile has undergone several tests from variety of platforms including a land-based test from the Pokhran range in the desert, in which the ‘S’ maneuver at Mach 2.8 was demonstrated for the Indian Army and a launch in which the land attack capability from sea was demonstrated.
Brahmos is a wonder missile that can take down terror camps or hideouts even in mountain areas where natural protection makes any other offensive action, bar crossing the border, ineffective. It is also the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2017.