India tests BrahMos cruise missile

Wednesday, 22 December 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The land version of the BrahMos cruise missile, jointly developed by India and Russia, was successfully tested for the first time at a range in Rajasthan Tuesday.

The test firing of the supersonic missile, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, at the Western Test Range at 12.30 p.m. was witnessed by Indian Army chief-designate Lt. Gen. J.J. Singh and Defence Research and Development Organisation chief M. Natarajan.

"From among a group of identified targets, the mission team chose a target and the missile came dead on the built up target, destroying it," said a defence ministry spokesman.

"Senior army and navy officers flew over the destroyed target immediately after the test, signalling the total success of the BrahMos in its capability of taking on land targets from a land platform."

The naval version of the BrahMos has been successfully tested several times over the past few years from a coastal range in Orissa. It destroyed targets out at sea, including a decommissioned warship.

The missile, which has a range of nearly 300 km and carries a conventional warhead of 300 kg, can achieve speeds of up to 2.8 Mach or nearly three times the speed of sound.

India and Russia announced earlier this month that they would step up investment in a joint venture formed by the two countries to produce the missile.

During his visit to India this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated a complex in Delhi on Dec 4 that will produce and market the BrahMos to third countries.

The Indian Navy plans to mount the sea version of BrahMos on several of its warships and the two countries are currently promoting the missile on the global market.

India and Russia plan to develop three versions of the missile, including an aerial one that could be used with the Indian Air Force's Su-30 jets.

The CEO of the Brahmos joint venture, missile scientist A. Sivathanu Pillai, complimented all defence research centres that had contributed to the success of Tuesday's test.

Source: IANS
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