India Tests Submarine-Launched Supersonic Missile

By on Friday, March 22nd, 2013

India successfully test fired a submarine-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on Wednesday, the BrahMos Aerospace Russian-Indian company said.

The missile was launched vertically from a submerged platform in the Bay of Bengal and flew its complete range of over 290 kilometers, BrahMos chief executive Sivathanu Pillai said.

Ship- and ground-launched versions of BrahMos have been put into service with the Indian army and navy.

India has recently updated BrahMos missiles by installing advanced satellite navigation systems from Russia’s Kh-555 and Kh-101 strategic long-range cruise missiles, adding GPS-GLONASS technology to the existing doppler-inertial platform.

The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds). It can effectively engage targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.

Brahmos is modeled on the Russian-designed 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26) missile.

Flight tests of the airborne version had been slated for completion by the close of 2012.

Pillai told media in November that development of the missile was three years behind schedule.

The Indian Air Force is planning to arm 40 Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with BrahMos missiles.

Russia and India recently agreed to develop hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5-Mach 7.

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