Wednesday, October 03, 2012

BrahMos, the missile

BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated.

The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile the following special features:

1. BrahMos is the first
supersonic cruise missile known to be in service. Induction of the first version of BrahMos Weapon Comples in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with INS Rajput as the first ship.

2. The missile has 'fire and forget' principle, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target.

3. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15km and terminal altitude is as low as 10 metres.

4. It carries a conventional warhed weighing 200 to 300 kgs.

5. Compared to existing state-of-the-art subsonic cruise missiles, BrahMos has three times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range and 9 times more kinetic energy.

6. The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch.

7. The missile is universal for multiple platforms and can pin point accuracy with high lethal power aided by large kinetic energy on impact.

8. It has shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker engagement.

9. BrahMos is a joint venture between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia, who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.

10. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.


While delivering the 26th CSIR NAL Foundation Day lecture on self-reliance in aerospace technologies, Pillai said the missile would fly at seven times the speed of sound.

“We are venturing into the hypersonic world where speed is the power. We want to reach Mach 7,” he said.

The Centre of Excellence in High Speed Aerodynamics at the Indian Institute of Science and the Moscow Aviation Institute will play a key role in the research and development of the missile.

The present BrahMos which is the only supersonic cruise missile in service has been inducted into the Indian Navy and Army. It has a range of 300km and can fly at a speed of Mach 3. The hypersonic version will have a scramjet engine in place of a ramjet.

Pillai added that while a submarine version of the BrahMos is under development, work on the air launch version for the Indian Air Force, to be fit on the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, has been completed.

“The missile is ready, once the modification on the Sukhoi-30 MKI’s is completed trials would be carried out,” Pillai added.

The Indo-Russian joint venture was setup with an investment of $300 million with 50.5 % funding coming from India and 49.5 % from Russia. “We have so far made a business of $4 billion and expect to make about $10 billion,” Pillai said.

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