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IAF test-fires 2 BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, hits targets 300 km away

According to the IAF, the test-firing of BrahMos has enhanced the air force's capability to engage grounds targets with pinpoint accuracy from a mobile platform.

IAF test-fires 2 BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, hits targets 300 km away

Indian Air Force (IAF) test-fired two BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missiles on October 21 and 22, 2019, as part of routine operational training. The missiles were fired from Trak Island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.

Both the BrahMos missiles directly hit the designated mock targets close to 300 kilometres away, validating the different parameters of the weapon system. According to the IAF, the test-firing of BrahMos has enhanced the air force's capability to engage grounds targets with pinpoint accuracy from a mobile platform.

IAF has already integrated BrahMos missiles on its frontline fighter Sukhoi-Su-30MKIs with 42 jets being reconfigured to carry the lethal arsenal. BrahMos-A, the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile, will give the IAF another potent weapon to hit the enemy from standoff range during day as well as night and in all weather conditions. The 42 Su-30MKIs will be ready to carry BrahMos-A in less than three years.

The 8-8.2 metre-long BrahMos, developed jointly by India and Russia, is already in service with the Indian Army, IAF and Indian Navy, and can carry a conventional warhead of 200-300 kg which can be either high explosives or submunitions. While BrahMos was initially built to strike targets 290 km away, its range was increased to 300 km after India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016. The missile's range is being further increased to 450 km while there is a possibility of developing a version capable of taking out targets 800 km away too.

India and Russia are also working on a hypersonic version of BrahMos. The current versions can fly at Mach 2.8-3 (about 3704.4 kilometres per hour), the hypersonic missile called BrahMos-II will touch a speed of Mach 6 (7408.8 kmph) and above. Hypersonic speed of Mach 6 and above will give BrahMos the capability to penetrate even deeply buried and heavily fortified bunkers and caves including nuclear-weapon storage facilities.