Wednesday, September 8, 2010

India Test-Fires BrahMos Missile


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Sep 08 , 2010 , p. 09
Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI — India test-fired its surface-to-surface BrahMos Block II supersonic cruise missile on Sept. 5 from a mobile launcher 200 km. (125 mi.) to the northeast of Bhubaneswar in the state of Orissa.

The launch took place from the Integrated Test Range of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The test met all of its objectives, according to a DRDO official. The flight follows a test in March.

BrahMos has a range of 290 km. and can carry a 300-kg. (660-lb.) conventional warhead. The missile performed a steep dive after reaching a flat trajectory. This is the first time a supersonic dive has been achieved by a cruise missile, the official says.

The Block II version offers the ability to hit a small target in a cluster of larger targets, which was recently demonstrated from the Pokhran test range, in northeast India, according to a statement.

BrahMos is a two-stage vehicle with a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ramjet system. It can fly at Mach 2.8.

The cruise missile is capable of launching from multiple land and sea platforms, as well as submarines and aircraft. It has been fielded by the Indian army and navy. Current focus is on the air-launched and submarine-launched versions.

The air-launched version has been stalled by lack of aircraft for the test, Aviation Week has learned.

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