Moscow: In a critical test, an anti-ship version of the BrahMos, the Russian-Indian supersonic cruise missile, will be launched from a submarine platform by year-end, the Russian partner company in the project said on Thursday.
"We need a test-launch by the end of the year," Alexander Dergachev, Deputy General Director of the Russian partner company NPO Mashninostroyenie, said.
"A decision will be made on whether the weapon can be accepted for service with the Indian Navy, dependent on the outcome," he was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
The test will be a single demonstration firing from a submerged raft, Dergachev 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 Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said earlier.
"The missile had a range of 300 kilometres, 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 the Indian Navy successfully test-fired a highly-manoeuvrable version of the 290-km range BrahMos supersoniccruise missile from a warship off the Goa coast.
The missile was fired without a warhead, hit the target ship after performing intricate manoeuvres.
BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.
It is a joint venture between India`s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia`s NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.