India on November 24 “successfully” test fired the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos as part of a series of planned trials of the weapon, known for its precision strike capabilities, official sources said.
The range of the new land-attack version of the missile has been extended to 400 km from the original 290 km but its speed has been maintained at 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound, they said.
“The land-attack version of the missile was test-fired in the Andaman and Nicobar at around 10 a.m. and it was a successful trial,” an official source said.
According to official sources, in the next few days, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy are scheduled to carry out separate test-firing of the new version of the air-launched and naval versions of the supersonic cruise missile respectively.
BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the lethal weapon that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land platforms.
India has already deployed a sizeable number of the original BrahMos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
In the last two-and-half months, India has test fired a number of missiles including an anti-radiation missile named Rudram-1 which is planned to be inducted into service by 2022.
On October 18, a naval version of the BrahMos missile was successfully test fired from an indigenously-built stealth destroyer of the Indian Navy in the Arabian sea.
The Indian Air Force on October 30 test-fired the air launched version of the weapon from a Sukhoi fighter aircraft in the Bay of Bengal.
The BrahMos missile provides the IAF a much-desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.
The IAF is also integrating the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets which is aimed at bolstering overall combat capability of the force.