India successfully test-fired its latest extended range version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Odisha coast, officials from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said on Saturday.
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DRDO tested the latest 450-km range version of the BrahMos cruise missile days after its chief S Christopher announced its development at the Aero India 2017. Christopher had said that India and Russia have agreed to enhance the BrahMos' range to 450 km, and that the tentative date to test the extended version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was March 10. He added that another version of the BrahMos with a range of 800 km was under development and that the missile would be ready for tests in around two and a half years.
Sudhir Mishra, managing director and CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, told the Financial Express, "The extended range BrahMos hit the target with centimetric accuracy. It's a big leg up for us and it was a fantastic test flight. With this new version, all three forces, Army, Navy and IAF will have the capability to strike deep into the enemy's territory... This is the first for the world – a supersonic cruise missile with such a high range."
This is the first test of the missile, whose strike range was extended after India entered the prestigious Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been developed as part of a joint venture between India and Russia. The missile's initial range was 290 km.
The 290-km BrahMos missile has already been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy and is expected to clear the final test for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the coming months. According to Mishra, BrahMos, which has been integrated on the IAF's Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, is the heaviest missile to be flown on the frontline fighter aircraft. It can penetrate into the territory of the enemy and destroy crucial and strategic assets.