India took another major step in strengthening its already potent military arsenal with the successful test-launch of its BrahMos supersonic missile in a “top attack” configuration on Nov. 24, defense website DefPost reported.
The surface-launched, land-attack version of the missile was launched from the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 10 am local time.
According to the Army, the missile successfully hit its target in the Bay of Bengal “with pin point accuracy.”
Translation? It could also hit a target in China … with extreme prejudice.
Most modern missiles, including BrahMos, can be fired in both top-attack and direct attack modes, The Indian Express reported.
In top attack mode, the missile is required to climb sharply after launch, travel at a certain altitude and then plunge on top of the target. In direct attack mode, the missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target.
The launch is said to be the first in a series of various versions of the missile in the coming days, in a display of India’s tactical cruise missile triad, The Indian Express reported.
The test by the Army comes over a month after the Naval version of BrahMos was successfully test fired from Indian Navy’s indigenously-built stealth destroyer INS Chennai, hitting a target in the Arabian Sea.
Posting a video of the test, the Pune-headquartered Southern Command of the Indian Army tweeted, “Indian Army successfully launched its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on November 24 in a top-attack configuration, hitting a target in the Bay of Bengal with pin point accuracy.”
BrahMos is an Indo-Russian ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, DefPost reported.
The missile is designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
The three-ton missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land-based platforms, DefPost reported.
The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in operation, with the air and submarine-launched versions currently in the testing/induction phase.
While versions of the BrahMos missile have been in India’s arsenal for long, the weapon system is continuously tested for examining its hardware and software systems, The Indian Express reported.
The present supersonic version can reach a speed of 2.8 times that of sound (2.8 Mach). A hypersonic version of the missile, capable of reaching a speed of 5 Mach, is under development.
The Indian Air Force also successfully test fired the BrahMos air version missile from its frontline Su-30 fighter jet aircraft on May 22, 2019.