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Sunday, March 21, 2010

India launches Brahmos cruise missile

India successfully launches Supersonic Cruise Missile - Brahmos

India on Sunday became the first country to have a manoeuvrable supersonic cruise missile in its inventory, when it successfully test fired the vertical-launch version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, jointly developed with Russia.

Launched from a state of the art vertical launcher, fitted in a moving warship INS Ranvir off the Orissa coast, the missile hit the target ship in the Bay of Bengal.

Brahmos cruise missileThe missile, which has a range of 290 km and flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach, can take on a target lying anywhere in the 360-degree range of the ship. It is capable of carrying conventional warheads up to 200 -300 kg.

CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace A Sivathanu Pillai was quoted by agencies as saying that the launch met all mission requirements and was 100 per cent successful. “It was a perfect hit and a perfect mission,” Mr Pillai said.

He said the test proved it was possible to change the direction of the missile at supersonic speeds before hitting the target. The missile performed supersonic maneuvering following the exact flight path and homed on to the decommissioned target ship INS Meen.

President Pratibha Patil and defence minister A K Antony congratulated the scientists and naval officers for the successful launch of the missile.

The Brahmos missiles are being jointly designed and developed by the DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. The Universal Vertical Launcher, from which the missile was test fired, has been designed and developed by the BrahMos Aerospace and patented.

The launcher is to be fitted under the warship’s deck to protect it from atmospheric conditions and impart stealth to the weapon system. It also allows the missile to be turned to cover 360degre. Brahmos can be launched from both vertical and inclined configurations from naval platforms.

The standard version of the missile has been tested several times before.

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