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Aero India 2023

First ever vertical launch of BRAHMOS missile from moving warship

A file photo of BRAHMOS missile in vertical configuration

New Delhi (BNS): India on Thursday conducted successfully the 16th launch of its supersonic cruise missile BRAHMOS for the first time from a vertical launcher fitted in a moving warship from the Bay of Bengal off the Eastern coast.

The missile was launched from Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvir at around 1200 hours IST, official sources said here.

"The launch met all mission requirements and was 100 per cent successful,'' they said.

This would now make it possible for the missile, which has a range of 290-km and flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach, to take on a target lying anywhere in the 360-degree range of the ship.

Senior Naval officials and scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who witnessed the launch termed it as a “landmark event.”

DRDO along with Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia is jointly designing and developing the BRAHMOS missiles which are capable of carrying conventional warheads up to 300kg.

The Universal Vertical Launcher, from which the missile was test fired, has been designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace. The launcher is designed to be fitted under the warship’s deck, thereby protecting it from atmospheric conditions and imparting stealth to the weapon system. It also allows the missile to be fired in any direction.

Three 15 A Alpha-class ships is being built at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai and three more Talwar class ships (known as 1135.6 class in Russia) at Kaliningrad in Russia will also have similar Vertical Launcher modules, the sources said.

The missile’s successful launch on Thursday will give a boost to the ongoing programme of future installations of BRAHMOS in the Indian Navy.

The missile has already been inducted in INS Rajput in an "inclined configuration."

With this launch, BRAHMOS has become the world’s first and only supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from both Vertical and Inclined configurations from Naval platforms, adding another feather to its cap of records.

Its land launched version is also in service with the Indian Army. The induction of BRAHMOS land attack cruise missile system in the Army is in progress with the first battery being handed over to it in June 2007.

The Army has plans to induct three batteries to constitute its first BRAHMOS regiment in near future to use the missile as a “precision first strike weapon.”

Work is on to develop the submarine and air-launched versions of BRAHMOS. Besides, preliminary work has also begun to develop the hypersonic BRAHMOS 2 missile capable of flying at a speed between 5 and 7 Mach, the sources said.

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