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BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile Successfully Test Fired

NEW DELHI, Oct 18: BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai on Sunday hitting a pre-designated target in the Arabian Sea. The missile hit the target successfully with pin-point accuracy after performing high-level and extremely complex manoeuvres, a statement issued by the defence ministry said.

The 290-km range missile — an Indo-Russian joint venture — has land, air and naval variants.

“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. The highly versatile BrahMos has been jointly designed, developed and produced by India and Russia,” the statement said.

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

Secretary DDR&D & 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 would add to the capabilities of Indian Armed Forces in many ways.

According to official sources, the missile has a top speed of Mach 2.8 — nearly three times the speed of sound. It was in the series of nearly a dozen odd advanced weapons India has test-fired in the last few months, particularly after China’s misadventure in Ladakh in May.

India had test fired another variant of extended-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that can hit targets 400 km away. It was test fired from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore in Odisha about a fortnight ago.

The sources said the configuration of the existing missile — the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile — had been tweaked to enhance its range. Increasing the missile’s range became possible after India’s induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June, 2016.

Commissioned into the navy in November 2016, the 7,500-tonne INS Chennai incorporates new design concepts for improved survivability, stealth and manoeuvrability. The warship can carry 16 BrahMos missiles in two eight-cell vertical launch systems, besides other sophisticated weapons and sensors, officials said.

Other weapons recently tested by India include a new version of the nuclear-capable hypersonic Shaurya missile with a range of 750 km and the anti-radiation missile to take down enemy radars and surveillance systems.

(Manas Dasgupta)