The answer is simple, if you were a PLA General and have been fearing an Indian missile for the last 19 years without having any effective defensive solution and then to increase your headache India suddenly announces that it has doubled the range of this missile. Well, this fascinating story is true in the case of the BrahMos missile which has been a matter of grave concern for Chinese Generals since it entered service with the Indian Armed Forces.
It is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile which uses ramjet propulsion to achieve an astonishing speed of Mach 3 or 3,700 km/h which has no parallel in the world. It is designed and developed by the “BrahMos Aerospace” which is a joint venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
It was developed as a derivative of Russian Cold war design P-800 Oniks cruise missiles that entered the limelight in the 2000s due to lack of fundings. The P-800 Oniks missiles were developed to sink US Aircraft Carriers and other major surface combatants by defeating heavily defended targets, a quality that BrahMos retained and mixed with deadly precision as just to fool enemy air defences it can perform ‘S’ maneuver at Mach 2.8 or 3450 kilometers per hour.
It was first test-fired on 12 June 2001 and has been evolving ever since. Presently, air, land and sea-launched variants of BrahMos missile are already in service with Indian Armed Forces who love this monstrous missile. This missile is so reliable that anywhere Indian sovereignty is threatened, missile regiments/ships/fighter squadrons armed with BrahMos missiles are immediately inducted as first responders be it the ongoing Ladakh standoff or the ever-increasing threat of Chinese Navy (PLAN) ships in the Indian Ocean.
To India’s delight, this deadly missile is turning even more formidable as previously the range of BrahMos missile was capped at 290 kilometers due to international restrictions. However, In 2016, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which opened gates for legally extending the range of BrahMos missile to 600 kilometers. As per the latest reports, the range of more than 500 kilometers has already been achieved in multiple tests in 2019 and 2020 while the aim remains to hit targets beyond 600 kilometers.
In what may serve as a testament of its impressive capabilities, on 18 October 2020, INS Chennai which is the Indian Navy’s latest-generation stealth destroyer successfully test-fired the latest generation BrahMos missile meeting all parameters of lethality and range.
Finally, Team Guarding India hopes that This missile will continue to be India’s most formidable cruise missile as BrahMos Aerospace is now developing the next generation BrahMos-II missile which will be a hypersonic missile. Brahmos II will fly at the speed of Mach 7-8 which is double the speed of current BrahMos missiles. The first test of hypersonic BrahMos II is expected either in late 2020 or in mid-2021.