Different types of BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile are under development, said MD and CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, Sudhir Mishra in Vadodara on 7 July. The missile with vertical trajectory to be used in mountains and also for anti-aircraft carrier roles will soon be ready. A lighter version of air-launched BrahMos is at a drawing board stage, he said.

The BrahMos missile system is continuously being reinvented to be used across multiple platforms, different trajectory and different targets as guided by India's 'Missile Man' and former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Mishra said during the inauguration of second manufacturing line of L&T Defence at Ranoli near Vadodara. The unit manufactures canisters and air-frames for BrahMos missile, being launched from land and sea. "Recently, we demonstrated the vertical dive capability for the BrahMos missile. This can be used against enemies hidden in mountains, particularly in bunkers, and also against aircraft carriers. While China has nuclear DF-21 missiles to be used against aircraft carriers, ours will be conventional missiles. BrahMos missile offers tremendous capabilities," said Mishra.

“Another major area where capabilities are being increased is the accuracy of missiles. It has improved from 30 metres to 10 metres, and now the target is reducing it to one metre”, he said. He added that a new lighter version of the air-launched BrahMos is at a drawing board stage. The current air-launched missile is launched from specialised Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. The newer one is designed for lighter platforms like the MiG-29 or even India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the Tejas. Efforts are being made to increase the missile range from 290 km to 415 km, and even beyond, he said.

The BrahMos can fly at three times the sound speed (Mach 3), can be launched from land, air and sea. The naval version can be launched from both ships and submarine. It can be used against targets on land and sea. A combination of the trajectory of the missile and speed gives it stealth-like capability making it difficult being detected by a Radar and therefore being intercepted by anti-missile systems.

Mishra said that orders are pouring in from Indian armed forces. Therefore, Indian companies like L&T should grab the opportunity to address these increasing orders. Inquiries are also coming from foreign buyers, but it is up to the central government to decide which of these foreign buyers are accepted. As of now, Indian armed forces are the only ones to use this missile.