Army to order mountain-strike BrahMos regiment soon (Lead)

March 31st, 2012 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) The Indian Army will soon place an order for a regiment of the 290-km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a steep dive capability for mountainous terrain, a top defence official said Saturday.

BrahMos Aerospace chief Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai told a press conference at the defence exposition here that the order will be received to supply the steep dive capability BrahMos to an army missile regiment for mountainous terrain deployment.

This regiment is likely to be deployed somewhere in India’s northeastern states facing China or in Jammu and Kashmir, facing both China and Pakistan.

“We have successfully carried out a test of the BrahMos in the steep dive mode on March 28 for the army. These are for deployment in mountainous terrain. Based on this test, the army will soon place an order for a regiment of this BrahMos cruise missiles,” Pillai said.

Another successful test on March 30 was to test upgraded systems of BrahMos, he said.

The steep dive capability also means BrahMos missile can now attack an aircraft carrier at sea vertically, hitting it by flying overhead. Earlier variants of BrahMos were only ship-attack missile.

BrahMos is capable of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 10 metres above the ground. It can reach Mach 2.8 or close to three times the speed of sound.

Pillai said India will also conduct an underwater launched BrahMos missile sometime later this year. “We have all the systems ready. But the sea is not conducive for the test. It is in Sea-III state and this is not suitable for tests,” he added.

On the aircraft-launched version of BrahMos to be fitted on Sukhoi combat planes, Pillai said the flight tests will be done within a year and the integration of the air-version BrahMos onto the Sukhois was being carried out at a facility in Maharashtra.

On the development of a hypersonic cruise missile that can travel at five times the speed of sound or Mach 5, Pillai said that would take about five years of work.

BrahMos has been developed as a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace.

The missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Moskva.

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