India Test-Fires BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile from Stealth Destroyer INS Chennai

India has test-fired its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyer INS Chennai (D65) on Oct. 18.

According to Indian defence R&D agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile successfully hit the designated target in the Arabian Sea with “pin-point accuracy” after performing “high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres”.

“BrahMos as ‘prime strike weapon’ will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges, thus making the destroyer another lethal platform of Indian Navy”, said a statement released by Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and Indian Navy for the successful launch.

Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy, congratulated the scientists and all personnel of DRDO, BrahMos, Indian Navy and industry for the successful feat. He stated that BrahMos missiles will add to the capabilities of Indian Armed Forces in many ways.

BrahMos is an Indo-Russian ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship/land-attack cruise missile (ASCM, LACM) based on the Russian P-800 Oniks ASCM. The missile is designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).

The two-stage missile is equipped with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in the cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features.

The missile has a flight range of up to 290 km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world. An extended-range version of BrahMos with an operational range of 400 km is also undergoing trials.

BrahMos operates on the ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15 km and the terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters. It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.

The three-ton missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land-based platforms. The missile has an identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage, and launch.

The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in operation, with the air and submarine-launched versions currently in the testing/induction phase.

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