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SOURCE: MAHESH SHETTI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Accidental firing of a training round of Brahmos missile deep inside Pakistan for over 120km might be the only time it was over hostile air space but utter lack of failure of Pakistani air defense system which not only failed to shoot it down but also failed to track Mach 3 capable missile for straight three minutes also shows that the 20-year-old missile that was first launched in 2001, still got the element of surprise that it was designed for.

In June of 2001, when India and Russia announced a successful test of PJ-10 that achieved near Mach 3 speed before taking down its targets 290km away it was noticed not only in the region but as far as in Washington of amazing capabilities of the new cruise missile. In the pre-Hypersonic missile era, the Brahmos missile was the only cruise missile that could cruise at Mach 2.4 to 2.8 at its terminal phase making it near impossible to be intercepted by any air defense systems, and even pretty much even today no air defense manufacturer is confident to make claims that their system can take out Mach 3 projectile that is flying within the atmosphere.

In 2022, Hypersonic cruise missiles and Hypersonic glide vehicles have shown speeds of Mach 6 to 9, many in India were not sure if BrahMos can still be able to penetrate highly defended air space and soon India started working on enhanced Brahmos missile where the missile will demonstrate Mach 4.5 speed with more range. Brahmos in the last 20 years have been upgraded over time that includes three Block variants that have made it much more difficult for air defense systems around the world to intercept, Block-IV with enhanced speed and Brahmos-NG with miniaturization of the missiles will be reducing its heat signature that will only make it much more difficult to track and intercept.

India will wait for BrahMos-2K in its new hypersonic avatar by end of this decade to carry on the legacy of the mighty Brahmaputra and Moscow rivers in India and Russia, after which it was named.

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