What is the BrahMos missile?
The BrahMosÂ is a short-rangeÂ ramjet supersonic cruise missileÂ that can be launched fromÂ submarines, ships, aircraft or land.
BrahMos is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’sÂ NPO MashinostroeyeniaÂ & India’sÂ Defence Research & Development OrganisationÂ (DRDO). The missile has stealth technology & guidance system & has a flight range of up to 290 km. Its cruising altitude can be as high as 15 km & terminal altitude a meagre 10 meters. It can carry a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.
What makes it the best?
It”™s the world”™s fastest anti-shipÂ cruise missileÂ with speeds of MachÂ 2.8 to 3.0
In comparison to existing state-of-the-art subsonic cruise missiles, the BrahMos has:
- 3 times more velocity
- 2.5 to 3 times more flight range
- 3 to 4 times more seeker range &
- 9 times more kinetic energy
- OperatesÂ on a “˜fire-and-forget”™ principle
- HasÂ a very low radar signature
- HasÂ incredible accuracy of 1 meter
- HighÂ supersonic speed all throughout its flight
SeeingÂ how superior the missile is, one can”™t argue why even the Chinese were very apprehensive when India decided to deploy them in Arunachal Pradesh. They even “˜threatened”™ India against doing so.
India plans to have its BrahMos-A (for air) equipped with nuclear weapons to serve as a deterrent against China & Pakistan.
A number of nations ““ Philippines, Vietnam,Â South Africa, Egypt, Oman, Venezuela, & Brunei ““ have shown interest in the purchase of the missile. Not only this, but in 2010, a senior executive stated that BrahMos was already in the process of negotiating with Chile, Brazil, South Africa & Indonesia for the sale of the missiles.
Malaysia is considering the purchase of the missile for use on itsÂ Kedah classÂ warshipsÂ & fighter jets. Also informal negotiations are on between India & Vietnam for its sale.
Also Russia itself may begin negotiations for the purchase of these missiles for its air-to-ground version for its Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets.
The important point to note here is that the intergovernmental agreement between India & Russia states that both countries need to approve an export sale. So only those countries that are friendly with BOTH THE NATIONS will receive the missiles.
The first export contract on delivering BrahMos to a country in the Asian-Pacific Region will be signed by the end of 2016.
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