India to increase range of BrahMos missile to 450 km

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Bengaluru | Published: February 16, 2017 3:30:57 AM

India will soon be testing the BrahMos missile with an extended range of 450 km from the present 290 km.

India will soon be testing the BrahMos missile with an extended range of 450 km from the present 290 km. (PTI)India will soon be testing the BrahMos missile with an extended range of 450 km from the present 290 km. (PTI)

India will soon be testing the BrahMos missile with an extended range of 450 km from the present 290 km.

Also, the DRDO will develop a new version of the Naval Light Combat Aircraft, which is likely to fly by the end of 2020.

Responding to a media query, the DRDO chief S Christopher said on Wednesday that the extended range test is scheduled for March 10.

He, however, denied any plans of increasing the range of the Agni missile, which has a range above 5,000 km.

Outlining the positives that emerged after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June, 2016, Christopher said, “We will extend the range of the BrahMos up to 450 km; also plans are afoot to work on version 2 of the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos and the range will be extended up to 800-850 km”.

The MTCR is an informal and voluntary partnership of countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying above 500 kg payload for more than 300 km. This prohibits member countries to give such technology to countries outside the club.

The range of the BrahMos missile, a joint venture of India and Russia was 290 km, even as it was capable of going beyond that range. Christopher said a change in the software will be needed, after which the missile will be tested for an enhanced range of 450 km.

“We have taken a BrahMos missile from the Army, we will need to make a small change in the software,” the DRDO chief said.

Apart from this, the DRDO is also developing a second version of the BrahMos missile which will have a range of 800 km. This missile, Christopher said, is likely to be developed over next two and a half years.

To a question if India will also increase the range of the Agni V missile, which can reach targets as far Beijing with a range of over 5,000 km, Christopher replied in the negative.

“We may not do it, because it can antagonise someone,” he said without naming any country.

The Indian Army has already inducted three regiments of BrahMos in its arsenal. All are equipped with Block-III version of missile, which was recently tested on May 8 and 9.

The land-attack version of BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007.

The fire-and-forget BrahMos has the capability to take on surface-based targets by flying a combined hi-lo trajectory, thus evading enemy air defence systems.

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