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BrahMos is a stealth
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between Republic of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation
Defence Research and Development Organisation
The Defence Research and Development Organisation is a agency of the Republic of India, responsible for the development of technology for use by the military, headquartered in New Delhi, India...

 (DRDO) and Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited
BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited
The BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organization of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace...

. It is the world's fastest cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 in operation.

The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and the Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

 of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0. It is about three-and-a-half times faster than the USA's subsonic Harpoon cruise missile and three times faster than USA's subsonic Tomahawk (missile). An Air launched variant is also planned which is expected to come out in 2012 and will make India the only country with supersonic missiles in all the defence forces. A hypersonic
In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that is highly supersonic. Since the 1970s, the term has generally been assumed to refer to speeds of Mach 5 and above...

 version of the missile is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready by 2016.

Though India had wanted the BrahMos to be based on a mid range cruise missile, namely P-700 Granit
P-700 Granit
The P-700 Granit is a Soviet and Russian naval anti-ship cruise missile. Its GRAU designation is 3M45, its NATO reporting name SS-N-19 Shipwreck...

, instead Russia opted for the shorter range sister of the missile, P-800 Oniks
P-800 Oniks
The P-800 Oniks for export markets; "Oniks" is onyx, and "Yakhont" is ruby or sapphire in English) is a Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya as a ramjet version of P-80 Zubr. Its GRAU designation is 3M55...

, in order to comply with MTCR restrictions, to which Russia is a signatory. Its propulsion is based on the Russian missile, and guidance has been developed by BrahMos Corp.
The missile is expected to reach a total order worth of US$13 billion


The BrahMos has been developed as a joint venture
Joint venture
A joint venture is a business agreement in which parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity. They exercise control over the enterprise and consequently share revenues, expenses and assets...

 between the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace. The missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

Since late 2004, the missile has undergone several tests from variety of platforms including a land based test from the Pokhran range in the
desert, in which the 'S' maneuver at Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 2.8 was demonstrated for the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 and a launch in which the land attack capability from sea was demonstrated.

Keltec, an Indian state owned firm was acquired by Brahmos Corporation in 2008. Approximately will be invested in the facility to make Brahmos components and integrate the missile systems. This was necessitated by the increased order book of the missile system, with orders having been placed by both the Indian Army and Navy.


BrahMos claims to have the capability of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 10 metres in altitude. It can gain a speed of Mach 2.8, and has a maximum range of 290 km. The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead
The term warhead refers to the explosive material and detonator that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo.- Etymology :During the early development of naval torpedoes, they could be equipped with an inert payload that was intended for use during training, test firing and exercises. This...

, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead. It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fueled ramjet
A ramjet, sometimes referred to as a stovepipe jet, or an athodyd, is a form of airbreathing jet engine using the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air, without a rotary compressor. Ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed and thus cannot move an aircraft from a standstill...

 responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. Air-breathing ramjet propulsion is much more fuel-efficient than rocket propulsion, giving the BrahMos a longer range than a pure rocket-powered missile would achieve.

The high speed of the BrahMos likely gives it better target-penetration characteristics than lighter subsonic cruise-missiles such as the Tomahawk
BGM-109 Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

. Being twice as heavy and almost four times faster than the Tomahawk, the BrahMos has almost 32 times the initial kinetic energy of a Tomahawk missile (although it pays for this by having only 3/5 the payload and a fraction of the range despite weighing twice as much, suggesting a different tactical paradigm to achieve the objective).Its 2.8 mach speed means that it cannot intercepted by some existing missile defence system and its precision makes it lethal to water targets.

Although BrahMos is primarily an anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

, it can also engage land based targets. It can be launched either in a vertical or inclined position and is capable of covering targets over a 360 degree horizon. The BrahMos missile has an identical configuration for land, sea, and sub-sea platforms. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for added stability during launch. The BrahMos is currently being configured for aerial deployment with the Su-30MKI
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is an air superiority fighter jointly developed by Russia's Sukhoi and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force...

 as its carrier. On September 5, 2010 BrahMos created a record for the first supersonic steep dive.

Testing Trials by Indian Army

Brahmos was first test fired on June 12, 2001 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in a vertical launch configuration. On June 14, 2004 another test was conducted at ITR and Brahmos was fired from a mobile launcher. During a user trial on January 20, 2009 Brahmos was tested with an new navigation system but it failed to hit the target. BrahMos Aerospace Corporation's director Dr Sivathanu Pillai said. "The missile performance was absolutely normal until the last phase, but the missile missed the target, though it maintained the direction." and that "The problem was in the software, not hardware". The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said that there were "small hitches" in the last stage of the test-firing. DRDO officials further said."The American satellites that run the GPS had been switched off on the day Barack Obama was sworn in the United States President, they said. The missile, therefore, traveled for 112 seconds instead of the slated 84 seconds and fell 7 km away from the target".

Brahmos was test fired again on Mach 4, 2009 and on March 29, 2009. For the test the missile had to identify a building among a cluster of buildings in an urban environment. Brahmos successfully hit the intended target in two and a half minute of launch marking the completion of development phase of Brahmos Block-II. On March 21, 2010 Brahmos was test fired and "hit a free-floating ship piercing it above the waterline and destroying it completely". The test proved missiles ability to maneuver at supersonic speed before hitting target making India the first and only country to have a maneuverable supersonic cruise missile.
On September 5, 2010 Brahmos was test fired again. A scientist, who witnessed the test, said "The missile flew in the designated complex trajectory including large manoeuvres and steep dive. This is the first time that a supersonic dive has been realized by a cruise missile".

Brahmos Block III+ was test fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher on December 2, 2010 with an new advanced guidance scheme incorporating large scale maneuvers at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude with precision strike. Brahmos completed all maneuvers hitting the target precisely. On August 12, 2011 it was test fired by ground forces and met all mission parameters.


  • Ship launched, Anti-Ship
    Anti-ship missile
    Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

     variant (operational)
  • Ship launched, Land attack variant (operational)
  • Land launched, Land attack variant (operational)
  • Land launched, Anti-Ship variant (In induction, tested December 10, 2010)
  • Air launched, Anti-Ship variant (under development, expected completion 2012)
  • Air launched, Land attack variant (under development, expected completion 2012)
  • Submarine launched, Anti-Ship variant (under development, expected completion 2011)
  • Submarine launched, Land attack variant (under development, expected completion 2011)
  • BrahMos block II land variant (Design completed, 4 variants ready to test in February 2011)
  • Brahmos block III land variant (Being inducted)


India and Russia intend to make 2,000 BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles over the next ten years through their joint venture company, and nearly 50% of them are expected to be exported to friendly countries.

Indian Navy

The missile is in service with the Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

. Talwar class frigate
Talwar class frigate
The Talwar class is a new class of frigates designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy. The Talwar class guided missile frigates, also known as the Type 1135.6, are modified Krivak III class frigates from Russia...

 and Shivalik class frigate
Shivalik class frigate
The Shivalik class frigates or Project 17 class frigates are multi-role frigates with stealth features being built for the Indian Navy. They are the first warships being built in India with such features. The lead vessel of the class was commissioned on April 29, 2010.The Shivalik class will be the...

 are frigates of the Indian Navy that can fire the BrahMos. INS Tabar and INS Trishul are Talwar class vessels armed with supersonic BrahMos while INS Shivalik was the first vessel of the Shivalik class to incorporate the BrahMos. Other vessels of the Shivalik Class and Talwar Class are to be armed with BrahMos missiles by 2009 and 2010 respectively. In 2007, the navy promised to arm the Godavari class frigate
Godavari Class Frigate
The Godavari class frigates are guided-missile frigates of the Indian Navy. The Godavari class was the first significant indigenous warship design and development initiative of the Indian Navy...

s and Brahmaputra class frigate
Brahmaputra class frigate
The Brahmaputra class frigates are guided-missile frigates of the Indian Navy, designed and built in India. They are an enhancement of the Godavari class, with a displacement of 3850 tons and a length of 126 metres...

s with the BrahMos too. Rajput class destroyer
Rajput class destroyer
The Rajput class guided-missile destroyers built for the Indian Navy are modified versions of Soviet Kashin class destroyers. They are also known as Kashin-II class. The ships were built in the former Soviet Union after considerable Indian design modifications to the Kashin design...

s are Destroyers of the Indian Navy that can fire the BrahMos. The INS Rajput
INS Rajput (D51)
INS Rajput is a guided-missile destroyer and the lead ship of the Rajput class destroyers of the Indian Navy. It was commissioned on September 30, 1980....

, INS Ranvir (D54)  and INS Ranvijay (D55) which are modified versions of Soviet Kashin class destroyers have been fitted with BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile systems.
The new class of destroyers namely Kolkata Class
Kolkata class destroyer
The Kolkata class of guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy were conceptualized under Project 15A, and include land-attack capability as well as some signature reduction features. Three ships of the class are being built at Mazagon Dock Limited . The first vessel is expected to join the fleet...

 are also to be fitted with the BrahMos and there are plans to arm the rest of the vessels of the Rajput Class with BrahMos too. On the other hand the Delhi class destroyer
Delhi class destroyer
The Delhi class destroyers are guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. Three ships of this class are in active service.The Delhi class vessels are the largest warships to be fully designed and built in India, although they will soon be superseded by the Kolkata class destroyers and the...

s are to be modified to incorporate the BrahMos. The first of the Kolkata Class should roll out in 2012 while the Delhi Class and Rajput will be armed with the Brahmos by 2009

The submarine launched version of the missile is ready for testing. The missile will be either tested on a Kilo class submarine of the Indian Navy or will be tested in Russia. The land attack version of the missile was fired from Destroyer INS Rajput and the missile hit and destroyed the right target among a group of targets. The vertical launch of Brahmos was conducted on December 18, 2008 from INS Ranvir (D54).
Brahmos I Block-I

The missile was successfully tested with new capabilities for the Indian Army in the deserts of Rajasthan, test range near Pokharan (December 2004 & March 2007). It was inducted into the army on June 21, 2007.
Brahmos I Block-II

On January 20, 2009, a test of a new BrahMos block II cruise Missile at Pokhran in Rajasthan was conducted with new software. The missile failed to hit the right target among a group of targets. The objective was to hit a small building hidden amongst a group of buildings. According to Brahmos corporation, another test of the new missile was to be conducted within one month, but was eventually conducted on 4 March 2009 and was deemed successful.

The latest test conducted on 29 March 2009, was successful. The missile took two and a half minutes to hit the target with precision. According to official sources, "The new seeker is unique and would help us to hit our targets, which are insignificant in terms of size, in a cluster of large buildings. India is now the only nation in the world with this advanced technology" After the third test, Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj, said that the Indian Army wanted the BrahMos to achieve high standards of accuracy and congratulated the scientists on behalf of the Indian Army. The Indian Army confirmed that the test was extremely successful and the army is absolutely satisfied with the missile. The development phase of the Block II version of the missile is over and it is ready for induction.

On September 5, 2010, Defence scientists test fired BrahMos off the Orissa coast and created a world record. It was for the first time that a cruise missile was tested at supersonic speeds in a steep-dive mode. The missile was test-fired from the integrated test range launching complex-3 (LC-3) at Chandipur around 11.35 am. With this launch, The army's requirement for land attacks with block-II advanced seeker software with target discriminating capabilities has been fully met. BrahMos is the only supersonic cruise missile possessing advanced capability of selection of a particular land target amongst a group of targets, providing an edge to the user with precise hit. The missile can travel at three times the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing 200–300 kg.

The army has raised one regiment (numbered 861) of the BrahMos Mark I. Now two separate missile regiments of the BrahMos Mark II, which has a seeker that can discriminate and zero in on a small target in an urban clutter, will be raised and are likely to be numbered 862 and 863. Each of the two new BrahMos cruise missile regiments would have between four and six batteries of three to four Mobile Autonomous Launchers that can be connected to a general mobile command post.
BrahMos I Block-III

An upgraded version of 290- km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired by India on 2 December 2010 from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Orissa coast.

"Block III version of BrahMos with advanced guidance and upgraded software, incorporating high manoeuvres at multiple points and steep dive from high altitude was flight tested successfully from Launch Complex III of ITR," its Director S P Dash said after the test fire from a mobile launcher at 1100 hours.
The 8.4 meter missile which can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound is capable of carrying conventional warheads of up to 300 kg for a range of 290 km.

It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters for surgical strikes at terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage.
BrahMos is capable of being launched from multiple platforms like submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL).The Block III BrahMos , has the capability scaling Mountain Terrains & hence can play a vital role in precision strike in the northern territories. The advanced cruise missile can fly close to the rough geographies and kill the target.

Indian Air Force

The air launched version for the Indian Air Force is ready for testing. An expert committee from the DRDO and the Indian Air Force (IAF) has ruled out any structural modification to the advanced Su-30MKI if it is to be fitted with the supersonic BrahMos. January 10, 2009 it was reported that two Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets have been sent to Russia for a retrofit program that would enable them to launch the aerial version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

On October 22, 2008 A. Sivathanu Pillai
A. Sivathanu Pillai
A Sivathanu Pillai is the chief controller of the Research and Development and also holds the rank of "Distinguished Scientist" at the Defence Research and Development Organisation at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India. He is also the Chief executive officer and Managing Director of...

, chief executive officer and managing director, Brahmos Airspace announced that the Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 would get its own version of Brahmos by 2012. Trials and tests will be carried out by 2011 and it is expected to be inducted into the IAF by 2012 In addition, India's 5 Il-38 and 8 Tupolev Tu-142
Tupolev Tu-142
The Tupolev Tu-142 is a maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft derived from the Tu-95 turboprop strategic bomber. A specialised communications variant designated Tu-142MR was tasked with long-range communications duties with Soviet ballistic missile submarines...

 maritime patrol bombers are also to be armed with the missile.Estimated capacity is 6-BrahMos each as per Indian Navy. There are reports of efforts towards adding the capability to fire the Indo-Russian Brahmos cruise missile from these aircraft. Mockups have been displayed with air-launched Brahmos attached to underwing pylons on the Indian Navy aircraft.

On August 8, 2009 Alexander Leonov, Director of the Russian Machine Building Research and Production Center, said "we are ready for test launches." He also said the final development and testing of the air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will take place soon. A new takeoff engine for launching of the missile in air and at extreme high altitudes had been developed. He said the initial test firing of the missile would be undertaken from the Sukhoi-30 MKI, but did not specify the dates. After testing, the IAF would be the launch customers for the air launched BrahMos cruise missile.

Russian Navy

According to unspecified sources the BrahMos could be fitted to the updated Gorshkov
Admiral Sergei Gorshkov class frigate
The Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates, also known as Project 22350, are a class of frigate of the Russian Navy. They have been designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau, Saint Petersburg, the lead ship being named after Sergey Gorshkov.- Design :...

 class of frigates which will be entering the Russian navy soon. The defence ministry reported that due to the size and hull specifications of the BrahMos, few if any of its new ships will be able to accommodate it.


Several countries including Vietnam, South Africa, Egypt, Oman, Brunei have expressed interest in the missile. In February 2010, it was reported that India was in "serious negotiations" with Chile, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia regarding the purchase of the missile. Malaysia is also reported to be considering the purchase of the missile for use on its Kedah class warships. Informal negotiations are ongoing between India and Vietnam for the sale of Brahmos missiles.

BrahMos II

BrahMos II is a stealth hypersonic cruise missile that is being currently under development that can fly at Mach 7.

BrahMos II land variant design has been completed and 4 Land to Land test variants are ready to be tested. Rest of the variants will be tested in the successive years of 2012-13, design is projected to be completed by October 2011 and will arm the Project 15B destroyers
Kolkata class destroyer
The Kolkata class of guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy were conceptualized under Project 15A, and include land-attack capability as well as some signature reduction features. Three ships of the class are being built at Mazagon Dock Limited . The first vessel is expected to join the fleet...

 of the Indian Navy. In Russian navy project 21956 Destroyers are most likely to be equipped with BrahMos II.

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