Trial to validate life extension of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile conducted successfully
A trial to validate the life extension of Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from 10 to 15 years was conducted successfully from a test range along the Odisha coast on Monday. The new technology has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
"Every piece of ordnance has a designated life span. But we have developed means to extend the life of the BrahMos missile, it entails going through subsystems, components of missile and ensuring that the missile functions perfectly and delivers for another five years, director general of team BrahMos Sudhir Mishra told India Today.
The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher stationed at Launch pad 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at 10 40 am, the DRDO said. "Each BrahMos costs about $4 million (approximately Rs 27-Rs 30 crore). Extending the life means that forces can spend that money on other weapon systems, Mishra said explaining the significance of the test.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted from her official account, "Smt @nsitharaman congratulates Team Brahmos and @DRDO_India for successful flight test carried out at 10 40 hrs on May 21, 2018 from ITR, Balasore to validate BrahMos missile life extension technologies developed for the first time in India.
The successful test will result in huge savings of replacement cost of missiles held in the inventory of Indian Armed Forces.
The BrahMos, whose variants can be launched from land, air and sea, is already being used by the Army and Navy. The missile was recently fired from a Su-30MKI.
The IAF plans to equip, at least, two Su-30 squadrons (each comprising 14-16 fighters) with the air-launch variant, which are 500 kg lighter than land and naval variants.
The range of the BrahMos missile had been extended from 290 km to 400 km in March, 2017. Increasing the missile's range from 400 km to further 800 km is now possible after India's induction into the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016, sources indicated.
The Navy was the first to introduce the BrahMos on Rajput-class destroyers in 2005.
The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress. So far, the Army has placed orders for the BrahMos, which are to be deployed by three regiments. Two of them are already operational.