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India’s request to jointly develop a Hypersonic BrahMos-2K cruise missile with a liquid-fuel scramjet motor coming from the second stage of Russia’s Zircon hypersonic cruise missile might see a Russian nod in the coming days as per people familiar with the matter close to idrw.

The Zircon hypersonic missile can theoretically climb to speeds of Mach 8-9 due to its liquid-fuel scramjet motor. However, the Indian-specific variant of the missile, the BrahMos-2K, will be modified to reach speeds of Mach 6. India will develop a booster stage with solid-fuel engines, along with a winged airframe and an AESA band seeker.

However, India is well aware of the high cost of developing hypersonic missiles and wants to limit Russia’s collaboration in the program to the second-stage liquid-fuel scramjet motor. The motor will kick in after the missile reaches supersonic speeds in the first stage, accelerating the missile into the hypersonic flight regime.

The BrahMos Aerospace team is currently estimating that the development of Indian-specific systems for the BrahMos-2K variant of the missile will take approximately eight years. Gradual progress is expected in the indigenous system as it enters production later in 2032. This joint development is a significant milestone in the strategic partnership between India and Russia, and it is expected to strengthen India’s military capabilities.

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