Home Articles Sci-Tech Brahmos - The deadly cruise missile

Brahmos – The deadly cruise missile

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!

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Gurudev is the developer of Gurunudi AI Platform. This is his official website where he pens his thoughts on a wide range of topics, answers queries, shares resources and tools developed by him.


    LENGTH: 4.62 FEET

    The?Qianwei (Advance Guard)-2? missile is capable of destroying civilian airliners and military aircraft. According to the developers of this new missile, the ?Qianwei-2? is the world?s most effective one-man shoulder-launched ultra-low-altitude air defense missile, surpassing the U.S. ?Stinger? and the French ?Mistral? in performance.

    The QW-2 is China?s third indigenous shoulder-launched, IR-homing air defense missile. The missile was based on the QW-1, but upgraded with the Russian 9K310 Igla-1 (NATO codename: SA-16 Gimlet) technology. The missile has been fielded by the PLA on the Type 95 SPAAA/SAM system.


    The Chinese PL-12 missile reportedly uses a Russian-made AGAT radar seeker directly related to the Russian R-77 (AA-12 Adder) air-to-air missile. The PL-12 reportedly has a maximum head-on engagement range of 50 miles and a maximum speed of four times the speed of sound. The PL-12 recently completed a series of trials on the Shenyang J-8II, and integration tests are now under way on the Chengdu F-10 advanced fighter.

  2. Russia is deploying a new series of nuclear tipped missiles with warheads designed with the aid of US supercomputers. The new Russian SS-X-27 missile is being moved directly into deployment with an advanced 550 kiloton nuclear warhead made by the Arzamas-16 nuclear design bureau.

    The original version of the TOPOL – mod 1 version – is designated the SS-25. This mobile missile is quite capable and can reach the US with a variety of weapons packages, including nuclear warheads of Russian design.

    In early 1997 Russian Atomic energy officials (MINATOM) admitted that an IBM super-computer was purchased from Europe by MINATOM in late 1996 for $7 million. The IBM super-computer was transferred directly to the nuclear weapons center in Arzamas-16. In addition, MINATOM official admitted that that Silicon Graphics, Inc., sold four computers to Chelyabinsk-70, another Russian weapons facility in the fall of 1996 for $650,000 each.

    Russia’s Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) stated the US computers would be used for nuclear stockpile maintenance and to simulate nuclear weapons tests. The rapid deployment of the Arzamas-16 nuclear SS-27 warhead appears to be the result of successful simulated Russian tests staged using the US computers.

    In 1997 SOFTWAR requested all information on the export of US super computers for the use in nuclear weapons research using the Freedom of Information Act. The US Dept. of Energy responded that all responsive documents in question originated in the US Department of Commerce. The US Commerce Department initially denied access to the materials based on an invalid claim of conflict of interest against SOFTWAR. SOFTWAR threatened to take legal action and Commerce officials gave up and agreed to service the FOIA request in early 1998.

    Former Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown led several trade trips to China and Russia which included major computer deals. In addition, a letter obtained from the files of Ron Brown detail his first efforts to export US super computers under the Clinton administration. The letter from NSA Director Adm. McConnell in dated November 1993 gave Brown the NSA okay to begin exports only days before President Clinton met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

    Commerce officials have, to date, returned no information to SOFTWAR on the Brown super computer deals. Commerce officials have also been reported to be denying access to similar documents to Congressional investigators.

    In 1997, USAF RC-135 “”Cobra Ball”” aircraft observed the successful test firings of the SS-27 (TOPOL-M). The successful missile firings encouraged Russian officials to begin building the SS-27 for deployment by the end of the year. The first deployment was reported to be in a SS-19 silo complex located at Tatishchevo in January of 1998.

    The TOPOL is manufactured by the Moscow Institute for Thermal Technology. The new, truck mobile, SS-27 is reported by Russian officials to have Maneuverable Re-entry Vehicle (MARV) capability designed to defeat any expected US deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems. US officials noted that the SS-27 flights observed by “”Cobra Ball”” did not test the new reported MARV capability.

    The Russian Federation accelerated deployment of the SS-27 in early 1998 by replacing several of their SS-18 Satan multi-warhead missiles in silos with the new SS-27. The SS-27 is wholly designed and produced in Russia unlike the SS-18 which was built in the Ukraine.

    The Russian move has pleased Clinton administration officials who pointed out the single warhead SS-27 is being exchanged for the SS-18 which carries up to eight warheads.

    Defense officials, however, are worried that the new deployment of a highly accurate, MARV warhead missile only highlights the weakness of aging US strategic systems. The mobile version of the SS-27 will be difficult to find and can be easily reloaded. The maneuvering warhead and extreme accuracy indicates the silo based SS-27s are “”first strike”” weapons intended to penetrate US defensive missiles which may be deployed around strategic land based – nuclear missiles.

    The mobile Russian SS-27 also raises serious proliferation questions since the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is providing the SS-27 design to China. China intends to produce the TOPOL-M missile under the designation “”Dong Feng”” (East Wind) DF-41. The DF-41 is expected to be deployed with Chinese manufactured nuclear warheads also designed with the aid of US super computers.

    Over 46 US super computers have been exported to China. Commerce Bureau of Export Administration Director William Reinsch testified in 1997 before the Senate that US officials could not determine the location of many of the computer sold to China. The Commerce Department authorized the additional export of a US super computer in 1997 even though they were denied access to inspect the Chinese site. In addition, Chinese officials denied access in 1998 to US inspectors who wanted to verify the exported super computers were not being used for military purposes.

    The SS-27 TOPOL-M has a maximum range of 6,500 miles, is 74.5 feet in length, 6.06 feet in diameter and weighs in at just over 102,000 pounds. It is listed as a three stage, solid propellant, “”cold”” gas launched, missile equipped with a Inertial/Stellar guidance system.


    RANGE – 1,553 MILES
    WEIGHT – 4,190 POUNDS
    one Williams F107-400 rated at 600 lbs. thrust

  4. Yes I saw the news yesterday, things have been developing at a fast pace ever since Russia under the leadership of Putin announced its come back some time ago.
    First, Putin successfully and intelligently solved the Chechen crisis.
    Now, Cold war time reconnaisance flights of Russia over NATO territories have been resumed, there is a clash between Russia and USA over the installation of the US missile defense system interceptors in Europe, and then there is the clash between Russia and UK over the spy assassination, and now this bomb..

    In a nutshell, Russia is back!

  5. The difference between ballistic missiles and cruise missiles is that cruise missiles are continuously guided and are highly accurate while ballistic missiles are unguided after launch and usually have poor accuracy compared to cruise missiles. They cant chase a target like how a cruise missile can. They are like fire and forget.

    SCUDs are tactical surface to surface ballistic missiles, which are actually short range ballistic missiles, and can be intercepted by modern missile defense systems, unlike the cruise missiles.

    Yes, SCUDS can carry nuclear warheads.

    Patriot missiles on the other hand perform literally opposite role to that of SCUD. They are surface to air missiles which are used in anti-ballistic missile defense systems. In other words Partiot missiles guided by radar systems intercept incoming ballistic missiles.

  6. Guru ….. Good piece of information …. How different are these SKUDs & PATRIOTs etc? r they of the same genre or a totally different idea?

    Cud these also carry nuclear warheads?


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