Indian Missile Program Updates

BrahMos Hypersonic Missile


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Brahmos Missile system

Mains level : India's hypersonic missile arsenal

The DRDO recently carried out two successful tests of the latest variant of the BrahMos missile, one from the land platform and the other from air.

BrahMos Missile

  • An amalgam of the names of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva, BrahMos is being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia in 1998.
  • The first version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2005, meant to be fired from INS Rajput.
  • It is a cruise missile, meaning it can be guided towards a pre-determined land- or sea-based target.
  • With a capability to attain speeds 2.8 times that of sound (Mach 2.8), BrahMos is classified as supersonic cruise missile.

Recent upgradation

  • A newer version under development is aimed at flying at speeds greater than Mach 5. These are called hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • Besides decreasing the reaction time of the enemy, higher speeds also substantially reduce the chances of the missile getting intercepted.

Why is it special?

  • In November 2017, the Indian Air Force had become the first in the world to successfully air-launch a Mach 2.8 supersonic surface-attack missile of this category from a fighter jet.
  • The recent successful testing of air-platform of BrahMos has further strengthened the tactical cruise missile triad — land, sea and air — for India.
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