Date:16/04/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/04/16/stories/2005041602941400.htm
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BrahMos test-fired off west coast

T.S. Subramanian

`A grand finale' to the naval exercises; 100 per cent success in ship-to-ship mode


  • Launched from INS Rajput
  • Equipped with a live warhead
  • Flight in combat-mode
  • One ship to be fitted with missile



    A perfect 10: BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, taking off from the Naval vessel Rajput on Friday morning in the Arabian Sea towards a decommissioned vessel, which was the target. — Photo Courtesy: Defence Research and Development Organisation.

    CHENNAI: BrahMos has scored a perfect ten out of ten. The 10th flight of BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia, which took place on Friday in a ship-to-ship mode was "a hundred per cent success." The missile took off from the Naval vessel INS Rajput sailing in the Arabian off the western coast and pulverised a decommissioned naval ship.

    Helicopter pilots saw the debris of the target floating in the sea. This was the first time that BrahMos was equipped with a live warhead and the flight took place in the combat-mode of the Navy.

    Officials connected with the flight described it as "a grand finale" to the Naval exercises conducted off the western coast.

    The event signals that the production of the missile for the Navy has started. All production facilities in India and Russia are totally geared up for producing enough number of missiles . "The process of induction of BrahMos into the Navy has started. That is why today's launch took place in combat-firing mode. This year, one Naval ship will be fitted with the missile. Next year, another one will be equipped with it," informed sources said.

    BrahMos is essentially an anti-ship supersonic cruise missile that flies at a speed of 2.8 to 3 Mach (2.8 to three times the speed of sound). It can take out targets 290 km away.

    The flight took place at 8.15 a.m. from the INS Rajput on Friday.

    It was watched by Admiral Arun Prakash, Chief of Naval Staff; A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, which manufactures the missile in India; Vice-Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff; Rear Admiral Pratap Singh Byce , Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet and other top Naval officers.

    Dr. Pillai called the perfect flight "a big milestone from the point of view of the Navy and we could see the devastating power of the missile against the target."

    The targeted ship went to pieces because of the power of the missile and its kinetic energy from its supersonic speed.

    BrahMos is a versatile missile that can be launched from silos on land, big trucks, ships, aircraft and submarine. Work has started on developing the missile to be launched from aircraft.

    Out of 10 BrahMos flights so far, four including Friday's were from a ship towards another ship.

    The earlier three flights in the ship-to-ship mode took place in the Bay of Bengal off the eastern coast. This is the first time it took place in the Arabian Sea.

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