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.
- 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.
- 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.