In a milestone breakthrough, BrahMos, was successfully test fired with an indigenous seeker on March 22 at a Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. It is said to be the world’s fastest and most formidable anti-ship cruise missile. This test firing of supersonic missile has given a big boost to government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign as it is for the first time the country developed a seeker for a missile of this calibre and class. The BrahMos weapon system has been jointly developed by India and Russia and is said to be one of the most formidable and precision-strike weapons in the world. The BrahMos missile that was test fired on March 22 “flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated BrahMos, DRDO and Indian scientists stating that today’s successfully test firing will bolster national security.
Indigenous seeker or BrahMos – why it’s a big breakthrough
The indigenous seeker has been developed with the joint effort of BrahMos Aerospace MD and CEO Sudhir Mishra and DRDO Secretary Dr S Christopher. Talking about the big acheivement for India’s defence, Sudhir Mishra the CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace says, “With today’s successful test flight we taken yet another important step towards building indigenous defence equipment manufacturing capability.” “We have demonstrated that Indian scientists can develop the world’s most advanced technology and equipment.”
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. 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.
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 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 – a universal weapons system
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.