Brahmaputra + Moscow = Brahmos

This is how the name Brahmos was arrived at, using the names of two great rivers of India and Russia, for the world’s fastest cruise missile which travels at a supersonic speed of Mach 2.8!! In fact as of today it is the world’s only supersonic cruise missile!

Brahmos, Indian supersonic cruise missile

Brahmos is a joint venture between India and Russia, with the partnership companies being DRDO from India and NPOM from Russia.

The deadly accuracy of a cruise missile was demonstrated in the Iraq war which accelerated the war results when the Americans started using their subsonic Tomahawk Cruise missiles. Brahmos is a supersonic multi role cruise missile which is more than three times faster than the Tomahawk cruise missiles, traveling at almost 2.8 times the speed of sound! This sheer speed means that by the time enemy systems pick up an approaching Brahmos, it is already too late! And the high impact generated by the kinetic energy of the speed alone is a huge plus point in this missile system.

More than anything else the Brahmos can hit targets which are just 30 feet above the ground! Just imagine how low the missile would be flying to hit a target which is only 30 feet above ground level! No ships in the sea or buildings on land, not even oil pumps will be spared. The very term supersonic means that before one can hear the sound of an incoming missile, the missile would have reached the target!

Brahmos can carry penetrating warheads of upto 300 kgs, and has a flight range of up to 300 kms!

It can vary its flight path from a mere 30 feet above ground to upto 14 kilometers above the ground, and can cruise in undetected by the enemy radar systems with its varying flight signatures (flight paths) and sharp maneuvering at a top speed locked towards the target and no missile defense system in the world today can stop an incoming Brahmos! It has an on board computer system controlling the missile flight path based on incoming data via high speed data link from navigation and guidance systems to perform course corrections and terminal guidance.

It can be launched from land, sea, submarines, and now even the air based version is being produced where by the end of 2007 the Brahmos will be fitted to Su-30 MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.

More than 10000 specialists worked in India alone, with India developing the complete control system of the missile, while Russians provided the hardware. The missile itself is manufactured in India and the tests are done near the coast of southern Orissa.

The land to land, sea to sea, sea to land and land to sea versions of Brahmos are unmatched in the world today and are ready to be deployed. In fact, the first customer of the Brahmos was the India navy. In 2005, INS Rajput which is a Kashin II-class guided-missile destroyer of the India navy became the world’s first real time delivery system fitted with Brahmos, with both maritime and land versions of the missile installed. Indian Navy can now sink any aircraft careers and large ships within the range of Brahmos!

The India Army acquired Brahmos in June this year and has a separate regiment dedicated to it. Efforts are now on to fit the Submarines of the Indian navy with subsea versions of Brahmos.

Dr. Silvatanu Pillai, CEO & MD of BrahMos, the Indo-Russian joint venture company that produces Brahmos, says that in the next 5 years, the company plans to develop hypersonic cruise missiles, the ones which travel at a speed exceeding Mach 5 (or more than 5 times the speed of sound).

What’s more? India and Russia plan to export Brahmos to friendly countries and with many potential customers like South Africa etc already approaching options are wide open for multi billion dollar sales! India has finally become a military arms exporter!

Taking the success of the joint venture forward, India and Russia are also on talks now to co-develop fifth generation fighter aircrafts!