New Delhi/Pokhran: India today successfully test fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with an indigenous seeker at Rajasthan’s Pokhran test range, enhancing the country’s capability to hit enemy targets at a range of up to 400km.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the BrahMos missile hit the target with “pin-point" accuracy and the success will further bolster India’s national security.
Thursday was the first time that the BrahMos missile, capable of travelling at speeds of up to Mach 3.0, or three times the speed of sound, was tested with indigenously developed seeker technology. The seeker—developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)—determines the accuracy of a missile by guiding it to the target, officials said.
“Formidable Supersonic Cruise Missile #BrahMos was successfully flight tested at 8:42 AM today at Pokhran test range, Rajasthan. The precision strike weapon with Indian-made seeker flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy," Sitharaman tweeted.
The defence minister congratulated the DRDO for the successful test of the missile, saying it will further enhance India’s national security. The test firing comes three months after the BrahMos cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet.
In a statement, the defence ministry said the flight test was conducted by the scientists of DRDO and BrahMos along with the Indian Army. A high-level team led by DRDO chairman Dr S. Christopher was present during the flight trial, which included director general (missiles & strategic systems) and scientific adviser to the defence minister, G. Satheesh Reddy, and BrahMos Director General Sudhir Mishra.
Senior IAF officials also witnessed the successful launch of the tactical weapon.
BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO and NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia. The name BrahMos is formed from the names of two rivers: the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
The range of the BrahMos missile, an Indo-Russia joint venture, can be extended to up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year.
BrahMos missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft. Work has already begun to integrate the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 40 Sukhoi combat aircraft which is expected to fulfil the critical needs of the Indian Air Force in the wake of evolving security dynamics in the region. The Army and the Navy have already inducted the missile.