India successfully test-fired supersonic cruise missile BrahMos integrated with homegrown seeker against a designated target at Pokhran test range in Rajasthan on Thursday.
It was first test of the world-class weapon system with indigenously developed seeker that boosted the Make-In-India initiative. The missile demonstrated its supreme operational capability with the new seeker.
The missile blasted off from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) deployed in full configuration at about 8.42 am. Senior officials witnessed the launch and congratulated the operational team for its successful launch.
The missile took off successfully and hit the designated target meeting all mission parameters. All telemetry and tracking stations including naval ships near terminal point have tracked the trajectory.
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Armed Forces and defence industry for the successful flight test of BrahMos.
"The precision strike formidable weapon with Indian-made seeker flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy. The successful test will further bolster our national security," she tweeted.
The test came nearly four months after its successful maiden air launch from Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30 MKI.
BrahMos missile system is the most lethal and potent weapon system for precision strike. It has all three versions -land, sea and air. The fire-and-forget missile has the capability to take on land targets by flying a combined high and low trajectory escaping enemy radar.
The successful integration of seeker is considered a big achievement as a seeker in a missile system improves its precision strike capability. This seeker can be developed further and used in other long range missile systems guiding them honing in on the target precisely.
The nine-meter long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing upto 300 kg. First tested for a range of 290 km, its strike range has been enhanced to 450 km after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The missiles can be fired on three different targets or in a variety of other combinations near simultaneously. Having the capability of distinguishing a particular target from a group of targets, it has empowered all three wings of the
Indian armed forces.The missile, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskova rivers, was developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture after the two countries signed an agreement in February 1998.Indigenous seeker or BrahMos – why it’s a big breakthrough
Seeker is one of the most critical elements of any missile, honing in on the target and improving the precision strike capability of the weapon system, says Avinash Chander, former DRDO chief and the man behind the Agni missile series.
“This is a very very big breakthrough and I would like to congratulate Indian scientists because the country will no longer have to depend on help for such an important component of the missile. Also, once the indigenous seeker is tested extensively and proves its capability, the knowledge can be used for other missile systems as well,” Chander tells FE Online.
BrahMos missile’s successful test comes within months of the weapon system being test-fired for the first time from a Sukhoi-30 MKI. The successful test fire from a Sukhoi-30 MKI was a first for the world since no missile as heavy as BrahMos has ever been fitted on a frontline fighter jet of a nation.
Meanwhile, with India becoming a part of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), it has now been able to extend the range of the BrahMos missile from 300 km to around 450 km.
BrahMos missile – a universal weapons system
BrahMos Aerospace, the joint venture between India and Russia, is already working to extend the missile range from 450 km to 800 km – something that will give India unprecedented fire power against both China and Pakistan.
BrahMos missile is a universal weapons system that has already been inducted by the Indian Army and Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force is in the process of doing so. The missile derives its name from two rivers – Brahmaputra in India and Moskva in Russia.
The BrahMos missile can be fired from land, ships, submarines and fighter jets – a fact that gives it unparalleled capability. Not only that, the BrahMos missile is said to have one of the best test success rates in the world. BrahMos is a two-stage missile which can attain a cruise speed of 2.8 Mach.
The missile can carry a conventional warhead of almost 300 kg. On sea, it can be launched both in the vertical and the inclined configuration. The BrahMos missle has also generated a lot of export interest from various countries including Vietnam, Chile.
The Indian army is the first army in the World to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missile with advanced capabilities.
On April 21, last year Indian Navy had successfully undertaken the firing of BrahMos missile from a ship. The long range variant of BrahMos was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, against a target on land.Key highlights of the Brahmos cruise missile test:
1) The Brahmos cruise missile test today was conducted with a made in India indigenous seeker.
2) The test firing comes three months after the Brahmos cruise missile was successfully test fired for the first time from the Indian Air Force's frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet.
3) "Formidable Supersonic Cruise Missile #BrahMos was successfully flight tested at 8:42 AM today at Pokhran test range, Rajasthan. The precision strike weapon with Indian-made seeker flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy," Sitharaman tweeted.
Formidable Supersonic Cruise Missile #BrahMos was successfully flight tested at 8:42 AM today at Pokhran test range, Rajasthan.
The precision strike weapon with Indian-made seeker flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy.@PIB_India @MIB_India
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) March 22, 2018
4) The range of the missile, an Indo-Russia joint venture, can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year.
5) Brahmos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
6) The Defence Minister congratulated the DRDO today for the successful test firing.
7) Brahmos missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India's Su-30 fighter aircraft.
8) Work has already begun to integrate the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircraft which is expected to fulfil the critical needs of the Indian Air Force in the wake of evolving security dynamics in the region.