Indian plans to develop hypersonic cruise missile

February 17th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin  

By Bijaya Kumar Das
New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, one of the most successful products of Indo-Russian military collaboration, is about to get a successor. The new missile, in its hypersonic version, will fly much faster than BrahMos. India and Russia will jointly develop the missile, which is in the conceptual stage.

The new hypersonic missile will have great kinematics energy, range and a powerful scramjet engine to make it a precision lethal weapon. The kerosene-fuelled missile is believed to be much cheaper than the design concepts of the western countries.

“The hypersonic missile will have a speed of mach 5. That is five times the speed of sound,” Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace, told IANS.

“Today we are flying BrahMos at mach 2.8. From that we are going to increase to mach 5. So, the programme involves developing a new scramjet engine to reach hypersonic speed,” he added.

Pillai said: “We are a peace-loving nation and we are developing missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) to protect ourselves from aggression.”

When asked about the export potential of the BrahMos missile, he said, “Various countries are interested in buying it, but we have not made up our mind whom to sell it to.”

The unique feature of this missile is that it will collect air from the atmosphere during its flight stage, liquefy it, separate oxygen and store it on board for subsequent flight.

The new missile is expected to be a force multiplier for Indian defence forces.

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