In March of this year, Russia announced that it had launched a Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile designed to destroy a large underground weapons depot in western Ukraine. In India, military planners are eagerly awaiting the dawn of their hypersonic missiles. Missile scientists associated with the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos are working on hypersonic missile technology that only Russia and China possess. Even the US is still developing the technology. A hypersonic missile travels at a speed of at least Mach 5.
Unlike a ballistic missile, which follows a defined trajectory, it can be easily maneuvered. In India, the BrahMos-2 is a hypersonic version of the missile and is likely to have a range of 1,500 km. Tests put its speed at nearly Mach 8, making it the fastest in the world. “Brahmos-2 is a hypersonic version of the missile. “It is likely to enter the prototype stage in the next three years,” a senior defence ministry official said, adding that a series of tests of the missile were conducted at Mach speeds of 6.5. In 2020, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) tested an air-breathing hypersonic scramjet propulsion system called the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle, or HSTDV.
According to a defence official, the HSTDV reached Mach 6 in 23 seconds during the test. “India joins a select group of countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, that have developed indigenous technology that allows the HSTDV to take an unpredictable path and evade interceptor detection.” The fire may be related to the BrahMos-2 hypersonic missile, which is expected to be modelled after the Russian Zircon hypersonic missile. The BrahMos is the only cruise missile exported by India. The first foreigner to buy it was from the Philippines, and countries like Indonesia showed great interest in it.
Current BrahMos versions have a range of about 500 km, with the export variant having a range of 290 km to stay within the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) limitation of 300 km. The MTCR sets out regulations to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology. Although not legally binding on members, the informal political arrangement ensures that each country has the right to defend itself with ballistic missiles, while also ensuring that ballistic missiles can only be developed by responsible members. technology that can be used for offense, not defense. ” India’s defence expert, Girish Linganna,
Also in the works is the BrahMos NG (next generation), which is smaller in size (6 metres tall) than the original BrahMos and weighs 1.6 tonnes. The original BrahMos weighed three tonnes and was nine metres long. The BrahMos NG has a range of 290 km and can reach speeds of up to Mach 3.5. Due to its smaller radar cross-section, the BrahMos NG is more difficult for enemy air defence systems to locate and engage. The BrahMos NG has an active electronically sensed radar (AESA) instead of the BrahMos PJ-10 mechanically sensed radar.
Every armed force is seen as a BrahMos NG user. The earlier BrahMos PJ-10 could only carry the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI. The BrahMos NG was also modified for the Indian Navy’s Project 75 India (P75I) submarines. The BrahMos NG has a land-based variant for the Indian Army, a variant for the Indian Air Force, and a ship-and submarine-compatible variant for the Navy. The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI can carry five BrahMos NGs simultaneously instead of just one BrahMos.
The MiG-29s and the indigenous LCA Tejas will also benefit from the BrahMos NG, as will the newly introduced Rafales. “India’s combat power will grow exponentially with the lethality, agility, and manoeuvrability of BrahMos NG and BrahMos-2.” “As China’s threat grows day by day, BrahMos NG will be a force multiplier for the Indian armed forces,” another senior defence official said.