Eye on China: Why India's BrahMos missile matters in Asia

DRDO recently tested the naval variant of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from INS Visakhapatnam.

India's premier missile

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently tested the naval variant of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from INS Visakhapatnam.

It is the Indian Navy’s newest indigenously-built guided-missile destroyer. India is now eyeing to become a big player with the export of the missile system to the Philippines.

Vietnam had also expressed its interest in buying India's premier missile amid tensions with China in the South China Sea.

(Photograph:AFP)

BrahMos at Mach speed

According to BrahMos Aerospace, BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated. 

The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Missile fitted with stealth technology

The missile is fitted with stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software which provides the missiles with special features. 

The missile maintains supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non interception by any known weapon system in the world. 

 

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Capable of being launched form multiple platforms

The BrahMos missile is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Russia and India's joint venture

The missile has been developed as a joint venture between the DRDO and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia and is the first supersonic missile known to be in service. 

(Photograph:AFP)

'Fire and Forget Principle'

It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’ adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. 

The missile's cruising altitude can be upto 15km and terminal altitude is as low as 10 metres. 

It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200-300 kgs. 
 

(Photograph:AFP)

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

The  BrahMos supersonic cruise missile can be also be launched from the Sukhoi fighter jet.

The missiles can be dropped from over1,640 to 46,000 feet making the Sukhoi jet a unique fighting force at par with the best in the world.

The BrahMos missile was first tested by the Indian Air Force on the Sukhoi in the Bay of Bengal and was deployed later.

The HAL has carried out extensive refitting to integrate the nuclear-tipped missile.

(Photograph:ANI)

Eye on China

The latest move by the Philippines to acquire India's premier missile will put the BrahMos on the world map as countries in Asia seek to balance China's aggressive moves.

Russia has also begun the delivery of S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems to India as the country strengthens its offensive and defensive capabilities.

In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems. 

India is now in a position to export the BrahMos missile as it seeks to counter China's defence capabilities in the world market while at the same time it is also setting its sight to become the dominant arms exporter in the region.

(Photograph:AFP)

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