India is planning to test-fire the 290km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a submarine off the coast of Orissa in mid-December 2009.

BrahMos has been developed under a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.

The test-firing, to demonstrate the capability of Brahmos, is expected to be undertaken from a watercraft at the Integrated Test Range in Balasore on the Orissa coast from a DRDO facility.

The supersonic missile has a smaller diameter than the 700km-range K-15 Shaurya, a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that was test-fired in 2008 from the same water-craft.

Carrying a 300kg warhead the 8.4m-long supersonic missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8. Being launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land-based mobile launchers, the missiles will capable of striking land and sea-based targets.

Russia and India have signed an agreement to develop the hypersonic version of the missile.