With the unbelievable speed of three times that of sound and a land attack version of 400 km, India achieved yet another milestone in its missile power by successfully test firing new version of BrahMos missile. This development comes at the heels of the border standoff in eastern Ladakh with China where India was facing an unpredictable adversary who, while declaring settling border issues through talks and mutual understanding, on the other hand, does not take any concrete steps to return to the position of status quo on the de-facto border with that country. Prudence, therefore, demands that while always being in the forefront of settling issues through negotiations, mutual trust and understanding, India at the same time, does not want to give room to any complacency in being in the forefront to give a befitting response to misadventures and acts of aggression. That enjoins upon us to be quite alert and all in high preparedness hence continuing with our efforts to modernise, strengthen and profusely arm our defence forces. The missile test fired could be seen from that perspective as it is the new version of surface to surface supersonic cruise missile. Integrated test range at Balasore in Odisha on Sept 30 was the place which witnessed this all important event happen.

It goes without saying that with each of such achievements in missile technology and capabilities, the highly laudable role, based on vision and unavoidable needs of the country, of Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee who in May 1998 with five nuclear explosions, declared India’s nuclear capabilities to the world. He reversed Late Rajiv Gandhi’s policy emphasis on nuclear disarmament thus this country ignoring the nuclear programme despite facing two belligerent neighbours. China, on the other hand, had taken its nuclear technology to the next level. It is a thing to be believed that following nuclear tests by India and starting developing missile technology and capabilities, China showed great interest to be engaged with India commercially. India never looked back since then and kept its missile capabilities and acquiring newer and modified versions going on. It is noteworthy that in the latest test firing of the missile, there is aroma in substantial quantum, of ‘Make in India’ like indigenous booster and airframe section and many other sub-systems made indigenously. With this, we are poised for serial production of the indigenous booster and other components of the most powerful BrahMos weapon system.

Pertinent to note that India has already deployed a sizeable number of the original BrahMos missiles and several other key assets at strategic locations along the border with China. These are in Ladakh as well as in Arunachal Pradesh. A proud moment for the country, credit of which goes to the hard work of the team members of Defence Research and Development Organisation duly applauded by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. With the revised and new version of the missile, the Indian Air Force has been provided with the much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target. The target could be at sea or land which could be hit with pinpoint precision and accuracy in all conditions — day, night and in any weather. IAF is on the job of integrating the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile over Sukhoi fighter jets. That was surely going to bolster combat capability of the force. India has reached an advanced stage of missile technology to be able to export the missiles even like the deadly BrahMos to friendly countries. It may be noted that the country has already successfully test fired Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle entering the exclusive “elite” club of US, Russia and China.