BrahMos- Enhances India’s Combat Potential

BrahMos -India’s Combat Power:


ssbspot.comIn 1998, the Government of India signed an agreement with Russia to design, develop, manufacture and market a Supersonic Cruise Missile System. Accordingly, the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) collaborated to form the BrahMos Aerospace and jointly produced the BrahMos missile. BrahMos is named after two rivers, Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia. The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. Russia supplies 65% of the BrahMos components, including its ramjet engine and radar seeker.
It is the world's fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3 with a range of 290 km and is about three and a half times faster than the American subsonic Harpoon cruise missile. The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service, the air version was successfully tested fired on 22 November 2017. The submarine-launched version is currently in the testing phase. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also currently under development, which will have a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2020.
India's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a member in 2016 has opened up new possibilities for India. India and Russia are now planning to jointly develop a new generation of Brahmos missiles with 600 km-plus range and an ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy.
Important Technical Terms
Ramjet:A ramjet may be called an air breathing jet engine that uses the engine’s forward motion to compress incoming air without the requirement of an axial compressor. Since the engine takes in oxygen from the atmosphere and does not additionally require oxidizer for combustion of fuel, it reduces the overall weight of the rocket and hence increases its efficiency. Super Sonic Combustion RAM Jet or SCRAMJET, rocket engine was test fired by ISRO from Sriharikota, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, on 28 August 2016. The rocket, also called the Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), lifted-off a weight of 3,000 kg during its testing. This path breaking technology is also planned to be used by ISRO during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight, so as to drastically bring down the launch cost of weather satellites.
Cruise Missile: cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision. Cruise missiles can be categorized by size, speed (subsonic or supersonic), and range, and whether launched from land, air, surface ship, or submarine. Supersonic missile travels faster than the speed of sound, while subsonic travels at a speed lesser than the speed of sound. A hypersonic cruise missile would travel at least five times the speed of sound, i.e. Mach 5.
BrahMos Missile Variants for Indian Defence Forces

Indian Army

The BrahMos Block I was first inducted into the army on 21 June 2007. Presently, three regiments of the existing 40th and 41st Artillery Divisions of the Indian Army hold the BrahMos missiles, which include one regiment of the Mark I and two missile regiments of the BrahMos Mark II.Each regiment holds between four and six batteries of three to four Mobile Autonomous Launchers (72 missiles per regiment) that can be connected to a mobile command post.

Indian Navy

At present, Brahmos has been inducted into eight warships of the Indian Navy. The following ship classes of the navy are equipped with BrahMos:
  • Rajput-class Destroyer – INS Rajput is equipped with four BrahMos missiles in 2 twin inclined launchers and INS Ranvir & INS Ranvijay are armed with one stern mounted 8-cell BrahMos VLS launcher.
  • Kolkata-class Destroyer – The three destroyers in this class are armed with two bow mounted 8-cell BrahMos VLS launchers.
  • Talwar-class Frigate – Three ships, i.e. INS Teg, INS Tarkash and INS Trikand are armed with one bow mounted 8-cell BrahMos VLS launcher each.
  • Shivalik-class Frigate – The three frigates in this class are armed with one bow mounted 8-cell BrahMos VLS launcher.
  • Visakhapatnam-class Destroyer – The four destroyers in this class are planned to be armed with two bow mounted 8-cell BrahMos VLS launchers.

Indian Air Force

The BrahMos-A is a modified air-launched variant of the missile which has a range of 290km that can be launched from a Su-30MKI as a standoff weapon (can be launched without even entering enemy’s air space). Two Su-30MKI of the IAF were initially modified by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Nashik facility and integrated it with the missile’s aerial launcher. In order to reduce the missile’s weight to 2.55 tons, many modifications were made like using a smaller booster, adding fins for airborne stability after launch, and relocating the connector. A demonstration flight was carried out at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Nashik on 25 June 2016 as a modified Su-30MKI carrying BrahMos-A underwent a successful trial flight. The missile can be released from the height of 500 to 14,000 meters (1,640 to 46,000 ft). After release, the missile free falls for 100–150 meters, then goes into a cruise phase at 14,000 meters and the terminal phase at 15 meters. Finally, on 22 November 2017, the missile was successfully test fired for the first time from a Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea based target in the Bay of Bengal. The missile’s terminal altitude is as low as ten meters. (The ship-launched anti-ship version of the BrahMos can fly 3-4 meters above the sea to avoid detection.) The IAF is planning to modify 50 Su-30MKI aircraft to carry the nuclear-capable cruise missile. In total, the IAF is expected to receive 200 air-launched BrahMos-As in the coming years, with first deliveries likely to commence from 2018.

Conclusion

The operational combat potential of the Indian Armed Forces has been greatly enhanced as it completes the tactical cruise missile triad capability after the successful test launch of BrahMos-A. Considering its long range of 290km and the fact that it can carry nuclear warhead that can strike strategic targets deep into the heart of both China and Pakistan, this latest capability will serve as a major deterrent for our adversaries.

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