India on Wednesday successfully test fired a new version of the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos having a range of around 400 km from an integrated test range at Balasore in Odisha, officials said. The missile, featuring a number of indigenously developed sub-systems, was flight tested from a land based mobile launcher for a designated range at 10:30 am from the integrated test range in Balasore.
The range of the new land attack version of the missile has been extended to 400 km from the original 290 km, the officials said, adding its speed has been maintained at Mach 2.8 which is nearly three times that of sound. India has already deployed a sizeable number of the original BrahMos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations along the de-facto border with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The test firing of the missile comes at a time India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
"BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other 'Made in India' sub-systems was successfully flight tested for designated range at 1030 hours today," the defence ministry said. In a statement, it also said the successful launch has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos weapons system.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated all the team members of Defence Research and Development Organisation and BrahMos for the mission. "Congratulations to Team @DRDO_India and @BrahMosMissile for the successful flight testing of #BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile with Indigenous Booster and Air Frame for designated range. This achievement will give a big boost to India's #AtmaNirbharBharat Pledge," he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also complimented the DRDO for the successful test-firing of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. "India is extremely proud of @DRDO_India for successfully testing the indigenously developed extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This state-of-the-art weapon is a testimony of India's defence potential and PM @NarendraModi ji's resolve towards an #AatmaNirbharBharat," Shah tweeted.
BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land platforms. In May last year, the Indian Air successfully test fired the aerial version of the BrahMos missile from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. 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.