Dec 2, 2010
| By Neelam Mathews |
| A Block III+ version of India’s 290-km. (180-mi.) range Brahmos supersonic cruise missile was fired Dec. 2 from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher by Indian army personnel at the interim test range at Chandipur on the east coast of Orissa.|
This follows a test firing of the advanced version of Brahmos Block-II in September, which was the third launch in the series for the Indian army.
The Brahmos test firing once again has established “its mountain warfare capability with upgraded software and a new advanced guidance scheme incorporating large-scale maneuvers at multiple points and a steep dive from high altitude with precision strike capability,” a statement says.
While the Block II launch met the army’s requirement for the land attack version with advanced seeker software with target discriminating capabilities, the Block III version was “better in its maneuvering capability,” an army official tells AVIATION WEEK. “This is a significant step because maneuvering in supersonic mode is a difficult task. Now it is multipoint maneuvering ... and a major deviation in its path.”
All the telemetry and tracking stations, including Indian naval ships positioned near the terminal point, confirmed the accuracy of the flight.
“In this launch campaign, the missile was put through extreme conditions and it successfully completed all complicated maneuvers as envisaged in the battlefield in mountain terrains, following the exact flight path given to it,” says A.S. Pillai, CEO of Brahmos Aerospace.
Officials are not commenting on when the next firing will take place or if any further additions to the guidance mode will be added.
The Indian army is said to be the first army to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missiles with advanced capabilities. “This [Block III version] will provide an enhanced capability to the user for selection of a particular land target amongst a group of targets. With this success, Brahmos has become the only supersonic cruise missile possessing this advanced capability.”