BRAHMOS is a universal long range supersonic cruise missile system that can be launched from land, sea and air. BRAHMOS has been jointly developed by DRDO, India, and NPOM, Russia. The system has been designed with two variants for Anti-Ship and Land-Attack roles. BRAHMOS Weapon Systems has been inducted and is operational with the Indian Navy as well as the Indian Army.
Brahmos system on Various platform
- Ship based weapon Complex system
BRAHMOS has been deployed on Indian Navy's frontline surface combat platforms, including Destroyers and Frigates, as the "prime strike weapon."
Special Features of the Weapon System:
- Fire Control System, Launcher and inter-connectivity with ship's navigation and sensors
- Salvo launch capability, where multiple missiles can be fired in different trajectories to hit a single or group of targets
- The missile’s mid-course guidance is provided by Inertial Navigation System and the terminal course guidance by homing radar seeker. GPS/GLONASS can be added for augmenting the accuracy
- The intelligent characteristics of the missile are such that it is beyond present day's missile detection capability
INS Rajput (decommissioned in 2021), a guided missile destroyer, was the first Indian Navy platform to deploy the deadly BRAHMOS. The precision-attack missile has since been armed on a large number of frontline Indian Navy warships.
- Land based Weapon Complex system
The Land based Weapon Complex comprises four to six Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL) controlled by a Mobile Command Post (MCP), and a Mobile Replenishment Vehicle (MRV). MAL is an autonomous vehicle with its own communication, power supply and fire control system.
The land-attack version of BRAHMOS has been operationalised in the Indian Army since 2007.
Special Features of the Weapon System:
- Least number of ground systems
- Autonomous launcher that can launch three missiles on three different targets or in variety of other combinations near simultaneously
- Highly advanced command and control system capable of operating in C4I environment
- Modular configuration capable of adjusting itself to the user or equipment based on the threat perception
- Easy maintenance and longer life
- Air-conditioned control crew cabin with NBC protection
- The Block-I variant of land-attack version was first inducted in June 2007 after a series of successful test launches proving the missile's manoeuvring power, precision hitting of the target and other operative capabilities.
- The advanced Block II version of the missile, with supersonic steep dive and target discrimination capabilities, has also been inducted after successful trials.
- The Block III variant of the BRAHMOS missile demonstrated its mountain warfare capability.
Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) is a state-of-the-art Land based Weapon Complex. It consists of three missiles in ready to launch configuration housed in containers, most modern means of communications, Radar receivers for Target information and ultra advanced Fire Control System for coordinating the launch.
The indigenously developed launcher is built on an all terrain high mobility TATRA vehicle. The missiles can be fired in single or salvo of 2 to 3 seconds within four minutes of receiving command.
- Air launch weapon system
BRAHMOS created history on 22nd Nov 2017 after it was successfully flight-tested for the first time from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea based target in the Bay of Bengal. The missile was gravity dropped from the Su-30 from the fuselage, and the two stage missile’s engine fired up and straightway propelled towards the intended target at the sea in Bay of Bengal.
In subsequent successful test firings carried out from the supersonic fighter aircraft in 2019, BRAHMOS ALCM validated its impeccable land attack and anti-ship capability from large, stand-off ranges by day or night and in all weather conditions, thereby giving the IAF an unprecedented reach and capability to carry out modern air combat operations in a decisive manner.
The first Su-30MKI fighter aircraft modified for BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was handed over by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to BrahMos Aerospace during Aero India 2015 at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
On January 20, 2020, a squadron of fourth-generation fighter jets Sukhoi-30 MKI (‘Tigersharks’ 222 squadron) equipped with the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was inducted in the Southern India, adding teeth to India's air and maritime dominance in the Indian Ocean Region.
The SU-30 MKI has a maximum speed of 2 Mach with a single in-flight range of 3,000 km. A total of 8,000 kg payload can be carried by it at a maximum altitude of 17 km. The missile also features several design refinements, which include a lighter propulsion system as well as redesigned fins and nose cap.
- Submarine based weapon system
The BRAHMOS missile is capable of being launched from submarines from a depth of 40-50 metres. The missile can be installed in a modular launcher vertically in the pressure hull of the submarine. The missile has identical configuration similar to the ship based system.
On 20 March 2013, the submarine-launched version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired at 1410 hrs from a submerged platform in Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
Creating history, the missile took off vertically from the submerged platform for its full range of 290 kms.
Surface/Sea Platform - 800 km (500 mi; 430 nmi)
To be upgraded with indigenous ramjet engine
Air Platform - 400 km (250 mi; 220 nmi)
To be upgraded to 1,500 km (930 mi; 810 nmi)
Flight ceiling:-15 km (49,000 ft)
Sea skimming, as low as 10 meters
Maximum speed:-Mach 2.8-3.0
Mid-course: Inertial navigation system
Terminal: Active radar homing,
GPS/GLONASS/GAGAN satellite guidance.
BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7–8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It was expected to be ready for testing by 2024.
In 2016, as India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), India and Russia are now planning to jointly develop a new generation of Brahmos missiles with 800 km-plus range and an ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy. In 2019, India upgraded the missile with a new range of 650 km with plans to eventually upgrade all missiles to a range of 1500 km.