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BrahMos Missile

Context: The BrahMos missile has completed 21 years in service. 

Key Points: 

  • BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine. The first stage of the engine brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The second stage, liquid ramjet, takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in the cruise phase. 
  • The missile has a very low radar signature; this makes it stealthy and can achieve various trajectories. 
  • The missile can achieve a cruising altitude of 15 km and a terminal altitude as low as 10 m to hit the target.
  • BrahMos is fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive counter-fire. These are in the arsenal of most major militaries in the world.
  • The BrahMos has 3 times the speed, 2.5 times flight range and higher range compared to subsonic cruise missiles. 
  • An extended range version of the BrahMos air-launched missile was recently tested from a Sukhoi-30 MKI. On January 11, an advanced sea-to-sea variant of BrahMos was tested from the newly commissioned INS Visakhapatnam.
  • Versions currently tested include ranges up to 350 km, compared to the original range of 290 km. Versions with even higher ranges, up to 800 km, and hypersonic speed are on the cards. Efforts are also on to further reduce the size and signature of existing versions and augment their capabilities.

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