Sky Is The Limit For Cruise Missile

Given the many merits of cruise missiles, the test-firing of BrahMos-A must adhere to the timeline announced as it will open up avenues for India to acquire state-of-the-art technologies

The supersonic BrahMos cruise missile air launch version (BrahMos-A) will be test-firing by the end of this year. This was disclosed by the Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa at the customary media interaction on October 5 to mark the Air Force Day.

With this test being successful, the air launch version would enter the Air Force, completing the trio of the anti-ship version with the Navy and the land-attack version with the Army. It is important that this test, preparations for which have been made since 2012, be held on time as it would initiate induction of technologies critical for cruise missiles, which would be the game-changers for deterrence and war-fighting.

A single BrahMos-A fired from the Su-30MKI aircraft will witness a 300kg warhead going at speed of 2.8 Mach, hitting a Naval target (an abandoned ship) at 400km range with pin-point accuracy (zero Circular Error Probability, or CEP) with the radars of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recording the entire event. It could be argued that what is the big deal if the Su-30MKI flying close to Mach 2 speed with a range of 3000km and payload carrying capacity of 8,000kg (eight tonne) is used to throw a single BrahMos-A missile onto the sea-target? The big deal would be that with zero accuracy error, BrahMos-A would provide excellent stand-off maritime strike capability and lethality when launched from air close to Andamans and Nicobar Islands (where India has the Andaman and Nicobar Command) to cover the Strait of Malacca, the key choke point that connects the Western Pacific with the Indian Ocean. India, thus, would have acquired the capability to both seek (through its P-8I aircraft) and kill hostile vessels entering what it considers its backyard where the Indian Navy is the net security provider. Read More…

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