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Has India Created BrahMos Missile With 800-Km Reach?

© AP Photo / MANISH SWARUPBrahmos missile
Brahmos missile  - Sputnik India, 1920, 01.02.2024
The Indo-Russian joint venture, BrahMos, forms the lynchpin of India's conventional missile fleet, and the South Asian country has continuously extended its range with newer technology at regular intervals.
Recently, the Indian Navy carried out a successful test of an Extended Range (ER) variant of the widely acclaimed BrahMos missile from a warship, which gave more teeth to the precision strike capability of the country's blue water force.

"Indian Navy & M/s BAPL (BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited) carried out successful engagement of land target at enhanced range with an advanced supersonic cruise missile. This endeavor revalidates 'Aatma Nirbharta' (self-reliance) for extended range precision strike capability from combat & mission-ready ships," the Indian Navy wrote in a post on X late last month.

While there was no official confirmation of the range of this variant of the BrahMos, social media was abuzz that the missile fired from the Indian Navy vessel was an 800 km range projectile.
Incidentally, the "area warning" issued before the test of a missile, in this case, was for 900 km.

India Conducts Second Trial of BrahMos ER Variant

For the unversed, this was the second test of an extended-range version of BrahMos. The previous trial conducted in October 2023 is said to have been for a variant having a range of 450-500 km developed for the Indian Army.
Against this backdrop, Captain DK Sharma, a former spokesperson of the Indian Navy, who retired from the maritime force in 2019, told Sputnik India that BrahMos Aerospace (the manufacturers of the missile) can always tweak the rocket as per the operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

"The developers of BrahMos can always tweak. For example, first, you make a missile of a particular range. But if you change the metallurgy, or equip the rocket with advanced technology, there are chances that the weight of the projectile would go down. Once that happens, the extra fuel could propel it longer," Sharma said in a conversation with Sputnik India on Thursday.

© PhotoIndian Navy Successfully Test-Fires BrahMos From Missile Destroyer
Indian Navy Successfully Test-Fires BrahMos From Missile Destroyer - Sputnik India, 1920, 01.02.2024
Indian Navy Successfully Test-Fires BrahMos From Missile Destroyer

BrahMos Missile's Range Could Go Beyond 800 Km

He added that when the new developments are taking place, then there is no reason to believe that an 800 km range BrahMos would not have been achieved.
The BrahMos' range could go beyond 800 km because there have been rapid technological advancements in the missile system and the metallurgy, the former Indian Navy officer stressed.
Elaborating further, the defense analyst opined that improvements in the BrahMos' range were a "very normal" thing.
"The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) which is making the BrahMos has full control over it and obviously the range of the missile will improve, and could very go beyond 800 km as the new technologies are being imbibed into its system," Sharma reckoned.

India Becoming a MTCR Signatory Changed the Game For Brahmos

On the other hand, Air Marshal (Retd) M. Matheswaran, a former Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), mentioned that when New Delhi and Moscow came together to form the joint venture, the idea was to do a little bit of adaptation, modification and bring in new technologies and make it in India completely.
"At that point of time when this deal was signed in the late 1990s, India was not a signatory to the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime). Therefore, officially it would not have been possible for Russia to offer any missile to India that has a range beyond 300 kilometers," Matheswaran told Sputnik India.
Once India became a signatory to the MTCR in 2016, then all those restrictions related to it went away.
Since then, India has made a lot of changes to the BrahMos - from a license production to bringing in a lot of Indian value additions, and control over certain aspects of technology has come in as well, the Indian Air Force (IAF) veteran said.
"Range is largely a matter of propulsion, and India has very good control over that technology. Therefore, logically we would have wanted much longer range versions of the BrahMos and that is how we have gone," he concluded.
A vehicle mounted Brahmos missiles is displayed at the Republic Day parade rehearsal in the backdrop of the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.11.2023
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