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Current Affairs

Upgrades for BrahMos Missile

Date: 27 December 2019 Tags: Military

Issue

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has carried out two successful tests of the latest variant of the BrahMos missile, one from the land platform and the other from air.

 

Background

BrahMos is developed through a collaboration between India and Russia and is one of the most advanced weapons in India’s armoury. It is an amalgam of the names of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.

 

Details

  • BrahMos is a cruise missile, meaning it can be guided towards a pre-determined land- or sea-based target.

  • BrahMos is classified as supersonic cruise missile with a capability to attain speeds 2.8 times that of sound (Mach 2.8).

  • A newer version under development is aimed at flying at speeds greater than Mach 5. These are called hypersonic cruise missiles.

  • Besides decreasing the reaction time of the enemy, higher speeds also substantially reduce the chances of the missile getting intercepted.

  • BrahMos is being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia in 1998.

  • The first version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2005.

  • BrahMos has undergone development through the early 2000s till date. Its land-to-land, submarine-fired and now air-fired variants have been developed stage by stage. Each new version has something additional compared to the previous version.

  • The latest  test was carried out from air using the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force as the base. This was the third air-based test of the missile and marked the completion of the integration of BrahMos missile with the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.

Supersonic and Hypersonic speeds

Supersonic travel is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound (Mach 1).

A hypersonic speed is one that greatly exceeds the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of Mach 5 and above.

 

Missile triads

A  triad is a three-pronged military force structure that consists of land-launched missiles, missile-armed submarines and strategic aircraft with bombs and missiles. This, in turn, ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation's deterrence.