Bhubaneswar, July 16: Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, touted to be one of best weapon systems in the world, was test fired today. The exact parameters for which this particular test was carried out is not known yet. Every missile test is carried out to test certain parameters. It could be to test some new features or some enchanced functions in the existing system. The complete list of functions and features are classified unless DRDO chooses to make it public.
According to information available in public domain, the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) is expected to test fire an extended-range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile by the end of 2018. The new 800-kilometer range BrahMos-ER could be an indication that India will deploy the BrahMos as part of the air component of its nuclear triad, a report said.
It was also reported that DRDO is working towards making BrahMos missile 'hypersonic' which means it would be able to breaching the Mach 7 barrier. This would be achieved over the next decade it steps.
"We will require seven to ten years from now to become a hypersonic missile system," Sudhir Mishra, the chief executive and managing director of the joint venture company Brahmos Aerospace, told PTI in April.
He said the missile, which currently travels at Mach 2.8 or 2.8 times the speed of sound, will touch Mach 3.5 soon and Mach 5 in three years. The current engine will have to be "tinkered" to achieve Mach 5 and will have to be replaced to achieve hypersonic speed, he had said.
The air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was in November last year (2017) successfully test fired from Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet. With this test firing, BrahMos became first weapon system in the world to have the capability to be fired from land, sea and air. Touted as the world's deadliest supersonic cruise missile system, the air version of BrahMos was test fired from a twin-engine Sukhoi fighter at a target over the Bay of Bengal. Two fighter jets took off from a base in West Bengal, with one firing the missile and the other tracking its flight - from fire to hit.
Each Su-30 MKI can only carry one missile in a transport launch canister. Around 50 Su-30MKI aircraft will undergo upgrades by the early 2020s, reported the Diplomat.
Hundreds of BrahMos missiles have already been inducted into the Indian Army and almost all Indian front-line warships now boast of this supersonic cruise missile.
BrahMos' strike range was recently increased from 290 km to 450 km following the technology upgradation.