New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian and Russian scientists aim to provide the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with hypersonic speeds — touted as the world's deadliest missile in the next seven to 10 years.
"We are working on increasing the speed of the missile in a phased manner. The current BrahMos missiles have a speed of Mach 2.8. In the next three to four years time, we would have a speed of Mach 5. Then we have to go hypersonic, which would take seven to 10 years," Sudhir Kumar Mishra, the CEO and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, said.
While scientists will have to do a little tinkering to increase the speed of BrahMos to Mach 5, they will have to replace the engine to achieve hypersonic speeds.
"The intent is to come out with a missile that will be able to deliver next-generation warfare," Mishra told PTI.
Mishra, however, also conceded that the missiles will be relevant for only 25-30 years and warfare will shift to newer tools like "high power lasers and high power microwave weapons," which will not require "kinetic weapon" systems.
BrahMos, considered the world's most formidable precision weapon, is currently only in service in the Indian armed forces. The Indo-Russia joint venture has an additional order worth over $7 billion from different wings of the Indian armed forces. Last month, Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government had been in negotiations with several countries to export the missile. Apart from Vietnam, several other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, have evinced interest in purchasing the missile, according to reports. Some active discussions have also been going on with South American countries like Peru and Chile.