India script history with fourth test of BrahMos missile in eight days

The supersonic cruise missile was flight tested by the three services of the Indian armed forces — Army, Air Force and Navy — within a short span to check its effectiveness and readiness.

The Indian armed forces on Tuesday scripted history by successfully test-firing supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from a guided stealth destroyer of the Navy that hit the target ship in the Bay of Bengal with pin-point accuracy.

For the first time, the world’s most potent and fastest operational missile was flight tested by the three services of the Indian armed forces — Army, Air Force and Navy — to check the effectiveness and readiness of the weapon system in a limited duration. This was the fourth test in eight days and seventh mission this year.

“No other country has so far executed a mission like this earlier. All three forces of India conducted live trials of surface-to-surface version of the missile that successfully destroying targets with pin-point accuracy after performing highly complex manoeuvres,” a senior defence official told The New Indian Express.

The anti-ship version of the missile was test-fired from the stealth destroyer INS Ranvijay at about 9.30 am. The missile fired from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands hit the target, a decommissioned ship, near the Car Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

Defence sources said all telemetry and tracking stations including naval ships near the terminal point have confirmed the success trial. The missile took off vertically and hit the predefined target meeting all mission parameters.

The trial was conducted as part of capability enhancement of the system already inducted in the forces and user training exercise. The missile used in the test was randomly selected from the production lot. DRDO provided all logistics support for the mission.

A joint venture of India and Russia, BrahMos is known for its precision strike capabilities as it has hit the bull’s eye with over 99 per cent accuracy during more than 80 trials conducted so far. It is the world’s best cruise missile in its class.

Commissioned since 1988, INS Ranvijay is equipped with dual anti-ship missile complexes, including four Styx systems in inclined launchers and eight BrahMos missiles in vertical launching system besides the dual air defence systems and one anti submarine launcher.

“With the successful mission, the Indian armed forces once again proved its capability to knock down enemy targets at any complex conditions. The unique weapon system has empowered all three wings of the Indian armed forces with impeccable land attack and anti-ship capabilities,” the official added.

The nine metre long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing up to 300 kg. Its strike range has been extended from 290 km to 450 km. The missile can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres.

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