An earlier prototype of the world's deadliest cruise missile undergoing static test

Different kind of BrahMos missile is under development, said MD and CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, Sudhir Mishra in Vadodara on Saturday. 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 airframe for BrahMos missile, being launched from land and sea.

"Recently, we had demonstrated the vertical dive capability for 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 is offering tremendous capabilities," said Mishra.

Another major area where capabilities are being increased is the accuracy of missiles. It has improved from 30 metre to 10 metre and now the target is one metre, he said. He also said a new lighter version of 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 MiG-29 or even India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) - Tejas. Efforts are being made to increase the range of missile from 290 kilometre to 415 km and even beyond, he said.

BrahMos is one of its kind of cruise missile anywhere in the world, which can fly at a speed three times that of sound (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 in the 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 and Indian companies like L&T should grab the opportunity to cater to increasing orders. Inquiries are also coming from foreign buyers but it is up to the central government to decide whom we should sell this unique weapon. As of now Indian armed forces are the only ones to use this missile.