The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has successfully conducted the 34th test-firing of its highly-manoeuvrable naval version of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile from a warship, off the coast of Vishakhapatnam in Bay of Bengal, India.
BrahMos Aerospace CEO A Sivathanu Pillai was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that the missile was launched in a ‘double-manoeuvre in S-form’ to hit a designated target ship located just one metre above the water surface.
"The sheer velocity and power of hit made the missile rip through the ship’s hull," Pillai said.
The missile is developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and NPO Mashinostroeyenia of Russia.
Powered by a solid propellant rocket, BrahMos missiles can be equipped with a conventional semi-armour-piercing warhead of 200kg or an aerial variant warhead of 300kg.
Based on the Russian-built P-800 Oniks/Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, the 290km range weapon has a speed of Mach 2.8 and can also be launched from land, submarines and air platforms.
Featuring a liquid-fuelled ramjet to sustain supersonic cruise, BrahMos is capable of intercepting surface targets by flying as low as 10m above the ground, even in mountainous terrain and hills.
Recently, India installed the advanced Russian GPS-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) technology into the missile’s current doppler-inertial platform.
BrahMos ground and ship-launched variants have been successfully inducted into service with the Indian Army and Navy, while the flight tests of the airborne version were expected to be complete by the end of 2012.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also has plans to equip Sukhoi SU-30MKI Flanker-H aircraft with aircraft-launched variant, BrahMos A.
Image: India’s BrahMos cruise missile on display. Photo: courtesy of Anurag.