India on Monday successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile under life extension programme along the Odisha coast. The successful test fire of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was confirmed by officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
According to DRDO, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur along the Odisha coast at about 10:44 am. The Indian Army has already inducted three regiments of BrahMos, which are equipped with Block-III version of the missile.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO scientists and team BrahMos for the successful launch of BrahMos missile with new technology today. “The successful test will result in huge savings of replacement cost of missiles held in the inventory of the Indian Armed Forces,” her office said in a Twitter post.
The two-stage missile – first being solid and the second one, a ramjet liquid propellant – has already been introduced in the Army and Navy, while the Air Force version had witnessed the successful trial, the DRDO scientists said.
BrahMos variants can be launched from land, air, sea and underwater. India successfully launched the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet for the first time against a target in the Bay of Bengal in November 2017, they said.
The missiles land and naval variants are already in service. At least two Su-30 squadrons with 20 planes each are planned to be equipped with the air-launch variant BrahMos missile, 500 kg lighter than land/naval variants.
India has already extended the range of the three-tonne missile from its earlier 290 km to 400 km and successfully test-fired the variant in March 2017. Increasing the missile’s range from 400 km to further 800 km is now possible after India’s induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016, they said.
Prior to that, India was bound by restrictions that limited the range of the missile, which is an Indo-Russian joint venture product, to less than 300 km.
Currently, the Army is equipped with three regiments of Block 111 version of Brahmos missile. Induction of the first version of BrahMos missile system in Indian Navy began with INS Rajput in 2005. It is now fully operational with two regiments of the Army, said the scientists.
After two successful test trials of BrahMos missile from INS Kolkata in June 2014 and February 2015, the test firing from INS Kochi on September 30, 2015, had validated the newly commissioned ship’s systems.
The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress. So far, the Army has placed orders for the BrahMos missile which are to be deployed by three regiments. Two of them are already operational. The last land-based trial was conducted from the same base on March 11, 2017, successfully.
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