BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, can add fire power to Indian defence forces operations in the high altitude and tough mountain regions.

A new version suiting mountain operations, with a tactical ‘supersonic steep dive' feature, has been successfully tested today by Indian defence scientists off the coast of Odisha.

Called the Block-III version, the BrahMos missile used an advanced guidance algorithm, to achieve this technical success said Mr Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian joint venture company.

At around 1130 hrs today, the new version was test fired from ITR Balasore. The Network of telemetry stations and two down range ships confirmed that the missile followed the pre designated flight path. The supersonic cruise missile attained 2.8 Mach speed and full range of 290 km. It made a 13 km altitude steep dive to reach its target.

“The important advantage is our version of the cruise missile can hit the target vertically and at high speed. The competing versions in the global arena fly and hit the target almost at horizontal levels and lower speeds”, Mr Pillai told Business Line.

The Indian Army has already inducted a version of the BrahMos supersonic, nuclear warhead delivery capable missile into a couple of its regiments.

Mr Pillai said the flight of the tactical missile, with manoeuvrability in mountains and valleys was exclusively demonstrated to the user —Indian Army. It was completely integrated at the Brahmas Integration Complex at Hyderabad.

The air and submarine versions of the supersonic missile system are in various stages of development and launch. Today's test was witnessed by senior Army officials and scientists of the Defence Research Development Organisation. The Raksha Mantri congratulated the team, a defence release added.

soma@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 28, 2012)
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