India successfully test-fired its new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on Saturday from the Navy's newest destroyer INS Kolkata. According to a statement from BrahMos Aerospace, a Russian-Indian joint venture, the launch was flawless as the missile met all its designed parameters.
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 kilometers (about 180 miles) and is capable of carrying a warhead weighing up to 300 kilograms (about 661 pounds). The missile has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which makes it about three times faster than the U.S. subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile, Indo-Asian News Service, an Indian news agency, reported.
“The Indian Navy commissioned INS Kolkata on 16th August 2014. This is the first ship of this class, with two more ships in the pipeline,” BrahMos Aerospace said in a statement on its website. “All the three ships are equipped with vertical launched BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile System as the prime strike weapon.”
The missile was launched using the company’s own vertical pad -- the Universal Vertical Launcher -- that allows launching of the missile vertically in any direction.
BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Kumar Mishra had said in August last year that the new supersonic cruise missile can leave any enemy helpless as no effective protection against it has been created so far.
“Supersonic speed is the BrahMos’ major advantage. An enemy has yet no effective protection against such missiles,” RIA Novosti quoted Mishra as saying, at the time. “After the missile is launched, all the enemy can do is run. In fact, he has even no time to escape. That is why this is a very promising weapon. And it has no alternatives in the world so far.”