In a move to further strengthen the firepower of its warships, Indian Navy has moved a proposal to acquire state of the art 38 extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. The world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile has a speed of Mach 3.5 or 4,300 kmph and comes with a range of 550-600km.
According to reports, cruise missiles are to be fitted on the under-construction Vishakhapatnam class warships of the Indian Navy which are going to join active service in the near future.
“A Rs 1,800 crore proposal for acquiring 38 extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is with the Defence Ministry and is expected to be approved soon,” government sources told news agency ANI.
BrahMos is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile, would be the main strike weapon of the warships, and is already installed on several warships of the Indian Maritime Forces.
The test-firing of the cruise missile was carried out by the Indian Navy for its warship INS Chennai to showcase its capability to strike targets at ranges more than 400 km in high seas.
The supersonic cruise missile was developed in the joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace. After the launch in the late 90s, the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile has become a potent weapon for all three-armed forces which are using them for different roles.
Under the project of PJ-10, India is currently looking forward to finding an export market for the supersonic cruise missile which has been indigenized to a large extent by the DRDO.
India and Russia are now planning to jointly develop a new generation of Brahmos missiles with 1500 km-plus range and an ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy.
The BrahMos supersonic missile comes in three variants namely surface to surface, submarine to surface, and air to surface.