SOURCE: JATIN RAM / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India’s plans to develop a hypersonic cruise missile as a successor to the supersonic BrahMos is not new it has been in talks for the last decade or more and the first glimpses of the BrahMos-2 were first showcased way back in Aero India 2013 as a scaled model of what now looks very familiar to the Russian developed Zircon aka Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles when it was publically unveiled for the first time.
Fast forward to 2022, BrahMos-2 is again in the news after CEO of the Russia-India Joint Venture BrahMos Aerospace Atul Rane told TASS, that BrahMos-2 would have some characteristics of the Russian-developed Tsirkon missile that seems to be the case for the transfer of technology for the scramjet engine that can take it to up to Mach 9 in speed but Indian variant or a downgraded scramjet engine might limit itself to just Mach 6 and its range limited to just 60%.
DRDO under Project Visnu had planned to develop two long-range Hypersonic cruise missiles along with that it also had a separate Hypersonic glide missile program for a longer-range intercontinental range hypersonic missile. The BrahMos-2 concept remained a concept for over a decade now because Russians were not confident enough to share the technology with India at first since it wanted to be part of the elite Hypersonic missile control list that the US, China, and Russia wanted to create to dominate this market and limit reach of this technology but now it seems it’s out of the window due to sanctions on Russia from United states and realignment of the Russia and China that in next few years will ensure that Hypersonic cruise missile will be sold just like today’s sub-sonic cruise missile to the highest bidder.
Going for Russian assistance in the development of BrahMos-2 will share most of the downgraded technology of the Russian Tsirkon missile system, Either Indian military planners are not showing much confidence in its Hypersonic programs or are not sure it will be ready in the next decade or so to reach production levels. Both DRDO and BrahMos have promised that India will have workable Hypersonic cruise missiles in the next 5-6 years, it will be interesting to see if DRDO can mature its hypersonic cruise missile technology first or we will again run to Russia to buy downgraded scramjets propulsion for the BrahMos-2.
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