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CREDIT IMAGE Damien Symon @detresfa_

The Indian armed forces are gearing up for two separate missile tests along the country’s western and eastern coasts, raising eyebrows and sparking speculation about the nature of the upcoming trials.

The first test, scheduled for January 22-23, 2024, will take place in a designated area 240 kilometers off the coast of Karwar in the Arabian Sea. A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by Indian authorities indicates a ship-based launch, suggesting the test could involve the BrahMos, a potent, Supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia. The BrahMos has seen extensive testing and deployment with the Indian Navy and Army, and this latest launch could be aimed at further refining its capabilities or exploring new launch platforms.

The second test, slated for January 24-25, 2024, will occur off the coast of Vishakhapatnam on the eastern coast. The larger designated area, stretching 900 kilometers, hints at a potentially longer-range missile. Experts speculate this could be the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), a subsonic cruise missile specifically developed for the Indian Navy. Interestingly, the ITCM also possesses a submarine-launched variant, which underwent a successful test in February 2023 with a range exceeding 400 kilometers. The upcoming test could explore the ITCM’s capabilities from a ship-based or air-launched platform, pushing its range even further.

While the exact nature of the missiles remains under wraps, these tests hold significant strategic implications for India. They demonstrate the country’s continued focus on bolstering its missile arsenal, with an emphasis on developing potent weapons for both offensive and defensive purposes. The BrahMos test highlights India’s pursuit of hypersonic technologies, while the ITCM test reaffirms its commitment to equipping its navy with long-range, versatile attack capabilities.

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