BrahMos, the Russian-Indian supersonic cruise missile joint venture, is to test-fire their anti-ship missile from a submarine platform by year-end, the Russian partner NPO Mashninostroyenie said Friday.
"We need a test-launch by the end of the year," said the company's Deputy General Director Alexander Dergachev. "A decision will be made on whether the weapon can be accepted for service with the Indian Navy, dependent on the outcome," he added.
The test will be a single demonstration firing from a submerged raft, he said. "When an operational carrier has been chosen, then further trials will continue," he said.
BrahMos, set up in 1998, produces three variants of the BrahMos missile, based on the NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (NATO SS-N-26) supersonic cruise missile already in service with Russia's Armed Forces.
The Indian Army has already taken delivery of the land-launched variant. The Navy already has the ship-launched missiles on ten vessels, Dergachev said. The Indian Air Force will also use the weapon, from an upgraded batch of 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI strike fighters it is expected to order later this year, Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said earlier this week in Delhi.
"The missile had a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles), and will be vertically-launched by a gas generator in its launch container, which will eject the weapon by gas pressure, after which it will reach Mach two," he said.
BrahMos can fly as low as 30 feet (10 m) or attack its target from a high angle, combined with supersonic speed and evasive maneuvering. BrahMos can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs).
Earlier this week, Russian daily Izvestia quoted defense industry sources as saying India has uprated its BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles by installing the advanced satellite navigation systems from Russia's Kh-555 and Kh-101 strategic long-range cruise missiles, adding GPS-GLONASS technology to the existing doppler-inertial platform.