BRAHMOS is an Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile which is also the fastest cruise missile in the world. BrahMos is named after the two rivers, India's BRAHMAPUTRA & Russia's MOSKVA and it itself significant as it depicts the close Indo-Russian ties. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology.
The missile is considered so deadly because it can be fired from land, air and sea and this capability makes brahmos a complete system. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0 (1 mach = speed of sound). The range of Brahmos is just short of 300 kms so that the missile follows the guidelines of MTCR (MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME).
Even at such high speed the missile is extremely maneuverable and this makes it even more difficult to intercept the missile.The missile is also able to hit the targets with pin point accuracy and is able to attack a specific target in a group of targets.
In the development of Brahmos India's financial contribution was about 50.5%. The cost of each missile is about 3 million US$. It is currently impossible to intercept and only one missile defence system is claimed to be able of intercepting brahmos that too being
INDO-ISRAELI BARAK 8 system.
Brahmos missile has a two phase propulsion with phase-I being solid fuel propellant and IInd phase being liquid fuel ramjet propulsion.
BrahMos claims it has the capability of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 5 meters in altitude and the maximum altitude it can fly is 14000 meters. The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead. The BrahMos missile has an identical configuration for land, sea, and sub-sea platforms.
BRAHMOS 1 - DIFFERENT BLOCKS OF BRAHMOS 1
- BRAHMOS BLOCK I - it is the basic brahmos missile which has a range of 290 kms.
- BRAHMOS BLOCK II - Brahmos block II is much more advanced version of brahmos and is superior to brahmos blockI as it is more maneuverable and has a better seeker.
This missile can perform "S" maneuver at speed of mach 2.8 making it much more difficult to intercept. The new seeker also improves its capabilities and it can now identify the desired target in between a cluster of different targets and attack with accuracy of about 1 m.
- BRAHMOS BLOCK III- it is the Steep Dive variant of Brahmos. Block III had advanced guidance and upgraded software, incorporating high maneuver at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude. It is basically useful in hilly areas and can engage target which are behind mountains or cliffs by steep diving. About 100 missiles are deployed by India in Arunachal border.
- SUBMARINE LAUNCHED VARIANT -is capable of being launched from submarine from a depth of 40-50 meters. The missile can be installed in a modular launcher vertically in the pressure hull of the submarine. The missile has identical configuration similar to the ship based system.
- AIR LAUNCHED VARIANT - called BRAHMOS-A is a modified air-launched variant of the missile which will arm the Su-30MKI of the air force as a standoff weapon. It 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 finally the terminal phase at 15 meters. A Su-30MKI is able to only carry one BrahMos missile. This variant is going final testing and Brahmos will be fired from SU 30 MKI FOR FIRST TIME IN DECEMBER 2016 .
FUTURE OF BRAHMOS -
THE FUTURE OF BRAHMOS IS BRIGHT AS WELL WITH A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT GOING ON.
- BRAHMOS 2 (do not confuse with block II)-It is the hypersonic version of brahmos and its speed will be around 7 mach making it the first hypersonic cruise missile of world. according to latest reports Russia has recently tested Brahmos 2 and it attained speed of 6 mach. final testing is expected to happen during 2017 and induction would start by 2018 most probably.
- BrahMos-NG - BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) is a mini version based on the existing BrahMos, will have same 290 km range and mach 3.5 speed. BrahMos-NG will have lesser RCS (radar cross section) compared to its predecessor, making it harder for air defense systems to locate and engage the target. BrahMos-NG will have Land, Air, ship-borne and Submarine tube-launched variants.This will enable small fighters like TEJAS to carry brahmos too.
BRAHMOS is amongst the most powerful weapon system INDIA and for that matter any nation in the world has. Its a complete system which is useful for all wings of armed forces and it gives India a unique capability.