India on January 20 declared it has “maximised” the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. The increase in the strike range of the missile was validated with a test-firing.
“The flight test is a major milestone in the way forward for BrahMos programme. The highly manoeuvreable missile cruised at supersonic speed for its maximum range and all mission objectives were met,” the Ministry of Defence stated.
While the Ministry of Defence did not specify the enhanced range of the BrahMos, sources privy to the development indicated that it is now “over 500 km”.
BrahMos was developed jointly by India and Russia at a time when India was not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which bars transfer of missile know-how to non-members for weapons with a range of over 300 km. The stated range of the BrahMos was 290 km, keeping it just under the MTCR threshold. But now, India is a member of the MTCR and the range restriction does not apply.
The Ministry of Defence stated that the range enhancement has been achieved by changing the missile’s trajectory, modifying its control system and increasing indigenous content.
“The missile was equipped with the advanced indigenous technologies and followed a modified optimal trajectory for enhanced efficiency and improved performance. The missile with the modified control system has been fine tuned to achieve an enhanced capability,” it was stated.