NEW DELHI: Indian armed forces will have the extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in their arsenal in the near future. The newer version of BrahMos, which was test-fired on Tuesday (June 4), is capable of hitting targets 450 kilometres away and also has a higher flight speed than the 290-km range missile.
The 450-km range BrahMos is equipped with an upgraded guidance system and a Russian-designed seeker which give the missile greater accuracy, making it more lethal. The first test of BrahMos extended-range was carried out on March 11, 2017. The extended-range missile can be fired from land as well as sea-based platforms and carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kilogrammes.
Although the 450-km range BrahMos will carry the same amount of fuel as the 290-km version, it will be able to travel a much greater distance due to better fuel efficiency which has been achieved by the new computer-controlled injector system that has been programmed to regulate the fuel's flow into the engine's combustor.
According to BrahMos Aerospace managing co-director Alexander Maksichev the newer version of Brahmos will be able to fly at more than 4.5 Mach. The BrahMos missiles in service with the armed forces have a top speed of Mach 2.8.
Work is already on to extend the range of Brahmos to 500 km and then to increase it to 800 km. According to officials involved in extending the range of the world's fasted cruise missile, the version capable to hitting targets 800 kms away would carry extra fuel as a result of which the missile's weight will have to be reduced by using composite materials.
BrahMos is a "Fire and Forget" missile and can navigate on its own towards a pre-determined and programmed target. The missile is capable of flying as high as 15 km and as low as 10 metres. The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch.