Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos being test fired from INS Tarkash. (Photo: BrahMos Aerospace) Nearly a couple of months after the maiden successful trial of submarine-launched version of BrahMos missile, India on Wednesday conducted a trial of its naval variant from a recently commissioned Russian warship.
Defence sources said the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Navy's newest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the Goa coast at about 11 am. It was the missile's first test from the Russian built warship commissioned in the Navy on November 9, 2012.
The launch was carried out by the Navy as part of Acceptance Test Firing (ATF) of the warship. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited A Sivathanu Pillai said the trial was successful as it had validated all mission parameters.
“The missile was launched vertically and performed high-level ‘C’ maneuvere at predetermined flight path before successfully annihilating the target completely. It was a perfect mission accomplished,” he told ‘The Express’ over phone.
Jointly developed by India and Russia, the nine-meter long two-stage missile which can cruise at a speed of 2.8 Mach, has a strike range of nearly 290 km. It is capable of carrying a conventional warhead weighing upto 300 kg.
While the missile’s land and naval variants have been proved successful in both vertical and inclined launch configurations, developmental trials are on for its submarine-launched version. The missile has been successfully inducted in a number of front-line Indian Navy warships.
On October 7, last year the missile was for the first time test fired from the Russian-built warship INS Teg off the Goa coast.
A release from the BrahMos Aerospace stated three frigates of Project 1135.6 class - INS Teg, INS Tarkash and INS Trikand had been built as part of a $1.6 billion contract signed between India and Russia in July, 2006. While INS Teg was commissioned on 27 April, 2012, the commissioning of INS Trikand is expected soon.
The new missile frigates are designed to accomplish a wide range of maritime missions, primarily hunting down and destroying large surface ships and submarines. All the three ships will be equipped with 8 vertical launched BrahMos missile systems as the prime strike weapons.
The advanced INS Tarkash warship however has been fitted with an upgraded multi-role combat suite to make it one of the most potent platforms of the Navy. The weapons suite includes surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, 100 mm medium range gun, close-in weapon system, torpedo tubes and anti-submarine rockets.
The Universal Vertical Launcher (UVL) being used in these ships has a unique design, developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace. It ensures maneuvering of the missile in any direction after launch, independent of ship movement, thereby providing the surprise attacks. The vertical launch configuration of the missile also enhances the stealth capabilities of the ship as the weapons are under the deck and not exposed, the release added.
By Hemant Kumar Rout | ENS - BALASORE (The New Indian Express)
22nd May 2013