In a major boost to Make-in-India initiative, supersonic cruise missile BrahMos fitted with Gen-Next new homegrown seeker was successfully flight tested against a designated target on Thursday.
It was first test of the world class weapon system with the indigenous seeker which has been entirely designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and BrahMos Aerospace. The missile demonstrated its supreme operational capability with the new seeker.
The missile was fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) deployed in full configuration at Pokhran test range in Rajasthan at about 8.42 am and hit the designated target meeting all mission parameters. All telemetry and tracking stations including naval ships near terminal point have tracked the trajectory.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Armed Forces and defence industry for the successful flight test of BrahMos.
“The precision strike formidable weapon with Indian-made seeker flew in its designated trajectory and hit the target with pin-point accuracy. The successful test will further bolster our national security,” Sitharaman tweeted.
The test came nearly four months after its successful maiden air launch from Indian Air Force’s front line fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30 MKI.
BrahMos missile system is the most lethal and potent weapon system for precision strike. It has all three versions – land, sea and air. The fire-and-forget missile has the capability to take on land targets by flying a combined high and low trajectory escaping enemy radar.
The nine meter long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing upto 300 kg. First tested for a range of 290 km, its strike range has been enhanced to 450 km after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The missiles can be fired on three different targets or in a variety of other combinations near simultaneously. Having the capability of distinguishing a particular target from a group of targets, it has empowered all three wings of the Indian armed forces.
The missile, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskova rivers, was developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture after the two countries signed an agreement in February 1998.
The Indian army is the first army in the World to have a regiment of supersonic cruise missile with advanced capabilities.
On April 21, last year Indian Navy had successfully undertaken the firing of BrahMos missile from a ship. The long range variant of BrahMos was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, against a target on land.
The successful development of indigenous seeker is considered a big achievement as it boosts precision strike capability. The seeker can also help other long range missile systems guiding them to hone in on the target precisely.
It is not Transfer of Technology (ToT) as the seeker has been created in India and by Indian scientists. Complete hardware, algorithm, logic and realisation of the device have been done in the country. The weapon system became more lethal with the desi seeker.
Director General of BrahMos Dr Sudhir Mishra said the new seeker is a joint effort made by DRDO and BrahMos team. “It is a great achievement for the strategic preparedness. The government is focusing on Make-in-India. But we have gone one step ahead by making the country a creative India,” Mishra told ‘The New Indian Express’.
A high level team including DRDO Chairman S Christopher, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minster G Satheesh Reddy and senior Army and IAF officials witnessed the launch. Programme Director Dashrath Ram and Project Director V Prameela who had led the effort for development of the seeker were part of the mission team.