MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) – The Indian army on Monday successfully tested an advanced version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which destroyed a fortified target with high-precision, India’s The Hindu newspaper reported.
The missile, jointly designed by Russia and India, was fired from a mobile launcher at the Pokhran firing range in northwestern India.
“The Block III variant of BrahMos with deep penetration capability is fitted with a new guidance system, and the launch by the army has successfully validated the deep penetration capability of the supersonic cruise missile system against hardened targets,” The Hindu quoted officials from Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Ltd. as saying.
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds). It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.
Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian army and navy.
The flight tests of the airborne version are expected to start in the near future. The Indian Air Force is planning to arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles.
Russia and India have also agreed to develop a hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5 to Mach 7.