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Published on May 16, 2010
BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.
BrahMos missile is perceived as the confluence of the two nations represented by two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. It travels at speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8
BrahMos missile claims to have the capability of attacking surface targets as low as 10 meters in altitude. It can gain a speed of Mach 2.8, and has a maximum range of 290 km. The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead. It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fueled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. Air-breathing ramjet propulsion is much more fuel-efficient than rocket propulsion, giving the BrahMos missile a longer range than a pure rocket-powered missile would achieve.
The high speed of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile likely gives it better target-penetration characteristics than lighter subsonic cruise-missiles such as the Tomahawk. Being twice as heavy and almost four times faster than the Tomahawk, the BrahMos missile has almost 32 times the initial kinetic energy of a Tomahawk missile (although it pays for this by having only 3/5 the payload and a fraction of the range despite weighing twice as much, suggesting a different tactical paradigm to achieve the objective).
Although BrahMos missile is primarily an anti-ship missile, it can also engage land based targets. It can be launched either in a vertical or inclined position and is capable of covering targets over a 360 degree horizon. The BrahMos missile has an identical configuration for land, sea, and sub-sea platforms. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for added stability during launch. The BrahMos missile is currently being configured for aerial deployment with the Su-30MKI as its carrier.
he army has raised one regiment (numbered 861) of the BrahMos missile Mark I. Now two separate missile regiments of the BrahMos Mark II, which has a seeker that can discriminate and zero in on a small target in an urban clutter, will be raised and are likely to be numbered 862 and 863. Each of the two new BrahMos cruise missile regiments would have between four and six batteries of three to four Mobile Autonomous Launchers that can be connected to a general mobile command post