SOURCE: Army Recognition
India and Russia, the two long-standing strategic partners, decided to begin a unique journey together to develop a Universal Weapon System no other nation ever possessed in the world. Consequently, the two countries inked a landmark Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on February 12, 1998, paving way for the establishment of BrahMos Aerospace – a joint venture entity between India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPOM – to design, develop, produce and deliver what became the world’s deadliest cruise missile system – BRAHMOS.
Today, the formidable BRAHMOS is widely reckoned as the most powerful and versatile weapon having unmatched speed, precision and firepower. The tactical missile, with multi-role, multi-platform, multi-mission capability, has stamped its feet as the ultimate weapon of choice in the 21st century.
Operating on “fire & forget” mode, the highly manoeuvrable missile flies at a top speed of Mach 2.8 and can carry a warhead of up to 300-kg. It is the supersonic speed of the missile coupled with its impeccable precision and annihilating firepower which makes BRAHMOS “invincible and uninterceptable.”
The state-of-the-art missile, currently operationalised in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, has transformed India into one of the leading militaries in the world today.
Since its inception in 1998, the world-class BRAHMOS programme has achieved many milestones. The successful flight test programme of the missile which started in June, 2001, has recorded over 60 test trials to date with the versatile weapon scoring the highest rate of success – an envious record no other weapon of its genre has achieved so far in the world.
The universal BRAHMOS has been successfully tested in sea-to-land, sea-to-sea, land-to-land, land-to-sea and subsea-to-land configurations. The tactical missile has emerged as the “weapon of choice” in missions of high priority and stealth.
On November 22, 2017, BrahMos Aerospace achieved a world record feat when it successfully integrated and flight tested the advanced air-to-ground BRAHMOS missile variant from the Indian Air Force’s frontline Su-30MKI long-range strike fighter. The coveted mission made India the first and only country in the world having the capability to launch a supersonic cruise missile from land, sea/sub-sea, and air, thus completing its tactical cruise missile triad.
The BRAHMOS air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) has not only given an unprecedented fillip to the IAF’s long-range precision strike capability from stand-off ranges, but has also emerged as an unparalleled precision strike weapon in terms of range, lethality, and effectiveness among conventional airborne weapons worldwide.
Additionally, the uniquely versatile BRAHMOS has also established itself as “an ultimate force multiplier” in modern network-centric warfare missions.
With this highly successful missile programme in its repertoire, BrahMos Aerospace now aims to take it to the next level by designing and developing even more lethal and powerful variants of the existing weapon, including a smaller, smarter BRAHMOS-NG (Next-Gen) for arming a wide range of modern military platforms, and a hypersonic BRAHMOS-II (K) which promises to revolutionise future warfare in a significant way.
BRAHMOS has also emerged as a potential weapon for export with several countries across continents expressing strong desire to acquire the formidable missile for their military.
A remarkable journey which began 20 years ago between two most trusted allies, India and Russia, has today reached the pinnacle of success and established a world-class brand in the shortest possible time.