BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile: Key Features and Contributions to India’s Defence Capabilities

BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile: Key Features and Contributions to India’s Defence Capabilities

Q. “BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has strengthened India’s defence capabilities.” Discuss at length

History of Operation

• BrahMos is the first supersonic cruise missile which has been inducted into service

• The first version of the BrahMos Weapon Complex was inducted into the Indian Navy from 2005; INS Rajput was the first ship

• All ships being built or upgraded will have the missile fitted onto them

The ship and land based weapon complex are in operation while the air and submarine launch version are yet to be released

About BrahMos

BrahMos supersonic missile was launched from the stealth destroyer INS Kolkata which is the largest ever warship built till now in the nation. This is the first ever launch from the 6,800 tonne INS Kolkata commissioned in August 2012

Such warships with BrahMos as principle precision strike weapon can fire missiles in salvo mode

• BrahMos is a 2 stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine which gives it supersonic speed.
• The second stage: missile reaches close to 3 Mach in cruise phase
• This missile has stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software
• Missile has a flight range of around 290 km with supersonic speed throughout the flight duration
• Missile operates on “Fire and Forget” principle using numerous varieties of flight variations to reach its final target
• Its massive power is further boosted on account of large kinetic energy on impact
• The cruising altitude can be close to 15 km and terminal altitude is around 10 meters
• Conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs carried by this missile
• This supersonic missile is universal across different launch platforms
• Low flight range across different types of flight trajectories
• There is a low radar signature signifying that BrahMos is an ace when it comes to stealth technology
• Flight times of lesser duration

Key Features

• Canisterised missile can be launched from underwater states and tested from a submerged platform

• Air launched version has low weight and extra rear fins for aerodynamic stability following separation from the aircraft and launch

Contributions to India’s Defence Capabilities

1. Lower dispersion of targets and rapid engagement time are some of the unique features of this missile

2. Non interception by any known weapon system across the globe

3. Indian defence sector has received a major boost as BrahMos has thrice the velocity compared to subsonic cruise missiles. It also has two and a half to three times more flight range as well as three to four times more seeker range and nine times the total kinetic energy

4. Whether land, sea or sub-sea platforms, the missile has used a Transport Launch Canister/TLC for storage, launch and transportation

5. Lower target dispersion and more effective engagement through shorter flight times

6. Greater accuracy, high lethal power and generation of massive kinetic energy on impact

7. This missile has been indicated to be 3 times the speed of sound and its air launched version is slated from a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter soon

8. In this “theatre readiness operational level exercise” TROPEX, around 40 warships and 70 aircrafts participated and the nation’s first ever dedicated military satellite RUKMINI or GSAT-7 working through the triad of the surface, sub-surface and air platforms of the Indian Navy

9. Armed forces have been able to validate their operational concepts and integrate new acquisitions into the fleet

10. New communication systems and tactics are being tested via this exercise

11. Universal Vertical Launcher used for missile firing has a special design which has been developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace
12. This is the most advanced form of stealth technology and vehicles can be launched vertically in any direction


BrahMos supersonic missile is one of the most advanced stealth technologies in the country. Building indigenous technology to boost Indian defence capabilities is a positive step forward for the nation. This cruise missile has improved the defence capacities of the nation by leaps and bounds.
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