Sunday, January 17, 2021

Four Time Faster Than US’ Tomahawks, Why Indian BrahMos Missiles Pose A Grave Risk To China?

The Indian Navy on Tuesday successfully test-fired the anti-ship version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos from stealth destroyer INS Ranvijay. The missile destroyed the target located in the Bay of Bengal after performing “high-level” and “extremely complex” maneuvers.

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The launch comes a week after the Indian Army successfully launched its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 24 November, hitting the target in the Bay of Bengal with pinpoint accuracy.

The Indian Navy has adopted the BrahMos as its standard ship-launched cruise missile as the navy’s all frigates and destroyers are now being built to carry the BrahMos in vertical-launch canisters — eight missiles in each frigate and 16 in each destroyer.

Since the beginning of the border stand-off with China in May, India has succeeded in testing multiple missiles meant for variable strike platforms and from a different medium.

According to defense experts, the tests are a message to China that in case of any misadventure from its side, Indian forces will be able to hit it in close ranges, standoff range, and even deeper inside from land, water, and air.

The BrahMos missiles have been deployed with the other key assets at several strategic locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. These missiles are also being integrated into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets to add to the combat capability of the force.

The existing version of the BrahMos, an India-Russia joint venture, has a maximum range of 290 kilometers but in September, India fired the missile at a target more than 400 km away.

India and Russia have adhered to the Missile Technology Control Regime, which prohibits the transfer of missiles, or missile technology, with ranges beyond 300 km to non-member states. However, the 400 km test signaled that the BrahMos could be built for far longer ranges in the future.

Regarded as one of the world’s premier cruise missiles with its supersonic speed of 2.8 Mach (almost 3,000 kmph), it is extremely difficult for enemy fighters to intercept and shoot down BrahMos.

Why BrahMos is a Threat to China?

Employed by all the three services, capable of being launched from all four dimensions – ground launchers, aircraft, surface warships, and submarines – the BrahMos has become a key element of the Indian military’s strike power.

In case of a conflict with China, as per defense expert and retired Indian colonel Ajai Shukla, the BrahMos could be advantageously used in the opening stages for pinpoint strikes on heavily defended targets – such as airbases, headquarters, key roads, and railways or logistics dumps – which are too dangerous for manned fighter aircraft to attack

The Indian Air Force has a full Sukhoi-30MKI squadron equipped with the BrahMos air-launched cruise missile, which allows the IAF to strike targets up to 3,000 km away.

Hypersonic BrahMos Missile to fly by 2028

Cruise missiles are designed to be fired at long ranges from their targets in order to avoid exposing the launching platform to enemy retaliation. The US Tomahawk is considered a quintessential cruise missile, the 2,900-pound weapon which can cruise up to 1000 miles (depending on the model) at a speed of five hundred miles per hour.

But what makes BrahMos class apart is the combination of twice the weight and four times the greater speed as a Tomahawk, resulting in vastly more kinetic energy when striking the target creating devastating impact, as per a report in The National Interest.

BrahMos On World Radar 

With a series of tests being conducted by India, the supersonic cruise missile has caught the attention of different nations across the world. As reported earlier by The EurAsian Times, countries such as the Philippines, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela are eyeing BrahMos.

The India-Russia joint venture began in the 1990s to develop an Indian version of the P-800 Oniks cruise missile. The missile’s name is a portmanteau of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva in India and Russia, respectively.

Last week, the Russian Navy had test-fired its latest hypersonic anti-ship missile Zircon, also spelled as Tsirkon which is reported to be the advanced version of BrahMos.

Last year, when India had deployed BrahMos in Arunachal Pradesh along the de facto border with China, People’s Liberation Army Daily had raised strong objection saying: “India deploying supersonic missiles on the border has exceeded its own needs for self-defense and poses a serious threat to China’s Tibet and Yunnan provinces”.

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