Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed BrahMos Extended Range (ER) with a range of 800km recently suffered developmental failure while it was about to demonstrate an extended range that was bumped up from 450km to 800 km with additional fuel and some changes to the airframe. Industrial sources close to have hinted that the solid propellant booster developed by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune failed just after 10-15 seconds in the launch thus cutting power and the missile dwelled back to the Mobile launch platform destroying it in the process.

In the first stage, a solid propellant booster pushes the missile into supersonic regimes that later separate, and in the second stage a liquid fuel ramjet engine takes it to speeds up to Mach 3. An indigenously developed solid propellant booster that replaced the Russian one was developed in 2017 and was tested several times in the past and already has entered production as it was found to be relatively cheaper and much more effective than the solid propellant booster supplied initially by Russia for over a decade.

Scientists and engineers from the BrahMos Corporation are looking into the matter to ascertain the exact reason behind the failure as the BrahMos missile is considered time tested system that even at the development trials in 2001 suffered no failures, but the prima facie initial findings do hint at solid propellant booster failure, for the first time since 2001 probably due to technical issues at the manufacturing process and not due to a design issue.

Villagers living in the firing area who already had been moved to safe locations as done before each experimental flight test of missile claim to have heard a loud explosion that was heard even 5-10km from the firing range as reported in the local media in the area.

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