Thursday, June 13, 2024

BrahMos Missile: A Force Multiplier Empowering India’s Military Might

Aritra Banerjee

India’s steady rise as an emerging, responsible power of 21st century has been strongly fortified by its ever-growing economy coupled with its rapidly transforming military might worldwide. The Indian Armed Forces safeguarding the defence of our country by operating from the most sensitive borders and challenging terrains are empowered with advanced ammunitions and state-of-the-art weapon systems and new technologies to prepare themselves for future dimensions of warfare.

The advent of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system in the arsenal has given the Indian Armed Forces the much needed strike-capability and punch to undertake deep surgical strikes in both land and sea, thus protecting its international borders and annihilating enemy assets and installations.

BrahMos Aerospace, the Joint Venture between India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM), was established in February 1998 to develop BrahMos – a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile – capable of being launched from Land, Air and Sea. The BrahMos, billed as the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, has been operationalised in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

BrahMos launch from SU-30MKI

BrahMos is the world’s fastest, one of its kind, two-staged, universal supersonic cruise missile with top speed of Mach 3 which operates on the ‘Fire and Forget Principle’. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with cutting edge features.

The supersonic cruise missile has evolved over the years and added many more variants – from sea-to-land, sea-to-sea, land-to-land, land-to-sea, sub-sea-to-land, sub-sea-to-sea and air-to-land configurations. The missile can be fired either from static, mobile platforms (land & sea) or fighter aircraft, in solo or salvo mode. This multiplicity makes the weapon all the more versatile in taking on the enemy anywhere, anytime.

Indian Navy demonstrates ship-based launch of the BrahMos missile; Photo Courtesy BAPL

Many frontline warships of Indian Navy and artillery regiments of Indian Army are equipped with BrahMos missiles. The Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI, after being modified to carry 2.5 tonne missile integrated with half a tonne launcher, successfully demonstrated BrahMos missile’s firing capability.

As part of the mission to enhance indigenous content in the BrahMos missile system, BrahMos has achieved historic milestones in the flagship “Make in India” programme by successfully indigenising major sub-systems of the missile taking the Indian contribution to seventy percent. All launcher systems for the weapon are manufactured domestically. 100% of ground support equipment for the weapon complex are also being made in India.

Indian Army demonstrates land-based missile launch of the BrahMos; Photo Courtesy BAPL

BrahMos Aerospace, with active participation of a consortium of Indian and Russian industries, has become a role model by integrating public-private industries from India and Russia as a consortium of ‘Missile Industry Complex’. BrahMos Aerospace possesses a full-fledged design centre, an Missile Industrial Consortium for producing different sub-systems, a world-class integration, and check-out facilities with stringent quality control, which involves over 200 small and medium Indian public and private defence sector enterprises and institutions.

In the year 2022, BrahMos attained another historic milestone when on 28 January 2022, Republic of India and Republic of Philippines signed a mega defence contract to supply Shore-based Anti-Ship Missile System (SBASMS) to the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP). This historic export deal has certainly paved the way for more such orders for BrahMos.

For futuristic developments, there are plans to fit a wide range of modern military platforms with the next generation BrahMos-NG which will be lighter, travels much faster and can hit targets, in an effort to boost the strike capability of the fighter aircraft in combat situations.

BrahMos Aerospace is a major attraction at the 12th edition of DefExpo 2022. The company showcased the BrahMos missile in various configurations, including the land-based weapon complex, ship-based weapon complex, underwater version and air-version along with the BrahMos air-borne launcher and equipment manufactured by BATL for Defence and Space applications including systems and sub-systems manufactured by various industries associated with BrahMos.

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