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SOURCE: Express News Service

India on Wednesday successfully test-fired the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos with indigenous components for an extended range from a land based platform off the Odisha coast.

The missile deployed in full operational configuration blasted off from launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 10.30 am and met all mission parameters as expected.

Defence sources said the missile — an Indo-Russian joint venture — was put to trial with indigenous booster, airframe section, propulsion system, power supply and many other major components.

The test jointly conducted by DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace for an extended range of 450 km has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful weapon system realising the Atmanirbhar Bharat pledge.

“It is one more major step in enhancing the indigenous content. The BrahMos land-attack cruise missile was cruising at a top speed of Mach 2.8. The missile has proved its prowess once again as the best supersonic cruise system in the world,” said a senior defence official.

Although the land-attack version of the missile has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007, this test validated the indigenous components incorporated to achieve higher strike range.

The extended-range version of BrahMos was developed after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which removed caps on the range of the cruise missile. The strike range of the missile has been enhanced from 290 km to 450 km.

“The changes in the engine and fuel system give it additional capabilities of going much beyond its earlier range of 290 km. We are testing the capabilities of flying the missile at a higher altitude so that it can achieve more range as the friction in air is much less,” the official informed.

The nine-metre long two-stage missile is capable of carrying a conventional warhead weighing up to 300 kg. The BrahMos missile has three versions – land, ship and air. It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 metres for surgical strikes at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage.

“With an extended range, the world’s best cruise missile in its class can now change the dynamics of conventional warfare. Its range, speed and stealth capabilities can be enhanced further as per the requirement of the armed forces,” the official added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated DRDO personnel, team BrahMos and the industry for the spectacular mission.