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On June 12, 2001, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was first tested from a land-based launcher in Chandipur.
Since the early 1980s, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme conceived and led by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam started developing a range of missiles including Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag with a wide spectrum of capabilities and ranges.
But in 1990s, India’s strategic leadership felt the need for cruise missiles. To make cruise missiles, India signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement with Russia.
This led to the formation of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between DRDO and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), the Indian side holding 50.5% and the Russians 49.5%.
About Brahmos Missile
BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine. Its first stage brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in the cruise phase.
Types of Brahmos Missiles: There are Land Based, Ship Based, Air based and Submarine based Brahmos Missiles Systems.
Significance of Brahmos Missile
Cruise missiles such as BrahMos called “standoff range weapons”, are fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive counter-fire.
The BrahMos has three times the speed, 2.5 times flight range and higher range compared to subsonic cruise missiles.
Moreover, with missiles made available for export, the platform is also seen as a key asset in defense diplomacy.
Future Developments in Brahmos Missiles
Versions currently being tested include ranges up to 350 km, as compared to the original’s 290 km.
Versions with even higher ranges up to 800 km, and with hypersonic speed are said to be on cards. Efforts are also on to reduce the size and signature of existing versions and augment its capabilities further.
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: BrahMos, 21 and developing” published in Indian Express on 13th June 2022.