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Latest BrahMos supersonic cruise missile tests were special: Here's why

BrahMos, billed as one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world, has a top speed of Mach 2.8. It was successfully tested in two consecutive launches on Monday and Tuesday

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

BrahMos, Indian Air Force
The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. File photo

The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, with major subsystems manufactured indigenously under the 'Make in India' initiative being tested. The missile, which was fired from the Integrated Test Range located in Odisha's coastal Balasore district, lifted off from its mobile autonomous launcher and successfully flew its pre-set trajectory, fulfilling its mission objectives.

BrahMos is a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyeniya. The cruise missile has been operationalised by the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.

On Monday, the BrahMos cruise missile had been successfully test-fired under its life extension programme.

Here are 10 facts about the two consecutive BrahMos supersonic cruise missile tests:

1) BrahMos launch tests 'Make in India' components: BrahMos was successfully test-fired for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, validating its strike capability and critical indigenous components. According to BrahMos Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Sudhir Mishra, through the launch, "critical indigenous components, including fuel management system and other non-metallic airframe components, have qualified to form part of the missile".

2) BrahMos fulfils 'mission objectives' in test launch: After the missile was launched from a mobile autonomous launcher at 11.45 hours, it successfully flew in its pre-set trajectory "fulfilling its mission objectives", the defence ministry said.

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3) BrahMos test-fired under life extension programme: Before Tuesday's launch, India on Monday successfully test-fired the BrahMos under a life extension programme. The cruise missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur along the Odisha coast at about 10.40 am.

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4) BrahMos first Indian missile to undergo life extension: According to news agency reports, BrahMos is the first Indian missile that has had its operational life extended from 10 to 15 years.

According to officials, the trial was conducted to validate the missile's "life extension" technologies developed for the first time in India by DRDO and team BrahMos.

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5) Sitharaman congratulates BrahMos team: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Team Brahmos and DRDO for the successful test carried out on May 21 to validate the missile's life extension technologies.

6) May 21 BrahMos test will lead to huge savings: Sitharaman also said that the successful test would result in huge savings on the replacement cost of missiles held in the inventory of the Indian Armed Forces.

7) BrahMos already tested from IAF's Sukhois: India had successfully launched the BrahMos cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet for the first time against a target in the Bay of Bengal in November 2017.

8) BrahMos' range to be extended to 800 km? The range of the BrahMos cruise missile has been extended from its earlier limit of 290 km to 400 km. India successfully test-fired this extended-range variant in March 2017.

DRDO scientists told news agencies that further increasing the missile's range from 400 km to 800 km was now possible after India's induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016.

ALSO READ: DRDO developing solid propellant for BrahMos after Russia refuses support

9) Multi-platform cruise missile: BrahMos is capable of carrying a conventional warhead weighing a maximum of 300 kg. It can be launched from ships, aircraft, and submarines.

The cruise missile's land and naval variants are already in service. Induction of the first version of system in the Indian Navy began with INS Rajput in 2005. After two successful test trials of the from INS Kolkata in June 2014 and February 2015, its test firing from INS Kochi on September 30, 2015, had validated the newly commissioned ship's systems.

The air-launched and submarine-launched versions of the missile system are in progress.

Further, the Army has placed orders for the BrahMos missile, which are to be deployed by three regiments. Two of them are already operational. These regiments are equipped with the Block-III version of the cruise missile.

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10) One of the world's fastest cruise missiles: BrahMos, which is billed as one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world, has a top speed of Mach 2.8.

The two-stage missile's first stage is solid-fuelled and the second one uses a ramjet liquid propellant.

With agency inputs

First Published: Wed, May 23 2018. 13:08 IST