Indian Army test launches BrahMos supersonic missile
The Indian Army has successfully test launched an advanced version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at Chandhan field firing range near Pokhran in Rajasthan, India, as part of a routine user trial.
Launched from a mobile-autonomous launcher deployed in full configuration mode with a mobile command post, the missile hit the target approximately 55km away near the Ajasar area, Press Trust of India reports.
Defence spokesperson colonel S D Goswami was quoted by the news agency as saying that the missile successfully hit the designated target on its predetermined trajectory.
An unnamed official said: "The launch has successfully validated the deep penetration capability of the supersonic cruise missile system against hardened targets."
Developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russian NPO Mashinostroyenia, the BrahMos is a 290km-range stealth supersonic cruise missile, designed for launch from land, ship, submarines and air platforms.
Based on the Russian-built P-800 Oniks/Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, it has a speed of Mach 2.8, which equates to nearly three times the speed of sound, and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300kg.
Powered by a solid propellant rocket, it features a liquid-fuelled ramjet to sustain supersonic cruise, and can intercept surface targets by flying as low as 10m above the ground, even in mountainous terrain and hills.
The BrahMos is already in service with the Indian Army and Navy, while delivery of the air-launched version to the Indian Air Force (IAF) is scheduled in 2015.
A smaller version of the air-launched missile is also being developed to arm the air force's Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, and the navy's MiG-29K fighters, according to the news agency.
Image: A BrahMos missile during a previous trial in Rajasthan, India. Photo: courtesy of the Press Information Bureau.