Hypersonic Missiles

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Brahmos Missile - a knol by Vijainder K Thakur

Brahmos Missile

Supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India
BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.
Contents
Technical Details
Operational status
News
Army losing interest in Brahmos missile
Repeat test successful
Third test successful
Fourth test successful



Brahmos carried on a Su-30MKI mock up at Aero India 2009. Photo Copyright © Vijainder K Thakur


The Brahmos is based on the SS-NX-26 (Yakhont) missile, which was under development when the Cold War ended in 1991 after which the project ran aground because of lack of funds. India invested $240 million to complete two decades of the missile's development and contributed its inertial navigation system.

DRDO claims that the missile was jointly developed by India and Russia. However, 80 % of its components, including the liquid ramjet engine and the radar seeker, are imported in knock-down condition to be reassembled by the Russians.

Technical Details
The 9.2 m long missile weighs about three tonnes. It can travel at speeds of up to 2.8 Mach or almost thrice the speed of sound. It has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lb).

For target acquisition, the Brahmos uses an active/passive seeker which could be an improved variant of the one found in the Moskit cruise missile provided by Russia to China.

Block II LACM versions of missiles being supplied to the Indian Army feature an active seeker with an ability to discern a designated target from amidst multiple.

A two-stage missile, its propulsion consists of a solid propellant booster and liquid propellant Ramjet system.

Brahmos, incidentally, is the first and only supersonic cruise missile that uses liquid Ramjet technology.

The missile is launched from a Transport-Launch Canister (TLC), which also acts as storage and transportation container.

Primarily Brahmos is an anti-ship missile. It has the capability to engage land based targets also. The missile can be launched either in vertical or inclined position and will cover 360 degrees.

The Brahmos missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub sea platforms. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for stability during launch

Unlike a conventional cruise missile, like the Tomahawk, which flies at subsonic speeds and hugs the terrain to avoid detection the Brahmos soars high up and accelerates to supersonic speeds quickly allowing its ramjet engine to kick in and sustain its Mach 2.8 cruise towards the target. When over the target it acquires an independent (Passive / Active) lock on it and rams down onto it with high kinetic energy. Since the Brahmos is traveling at 3 times the speed of a conventional subsonic cruise missile, consequently it hits the target with nine times more destructive force.



Operational status

Naval Variant

Naval and land based versions of the Brahmos missile have been tested and inducted into service. The naval variant of Brahmos on inclined launchers is fitted on INS Rajput. A vertical launch version of the missile was tested from Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvir in December 2008.

The vertical launcher is designed to be fitted under the warship's deck, thereby protecting it from atmospheric conditions and imparting stealth to the weapon system. It also allows the missile to engage targets 360 degrees around the ship.

Three Kolkata-class P-15A ships being built at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai at a cost of Rs 11,662 crore and three more Talwar class ships (known as 1135.6 class in Russia) at Kaliningrad in Russia at a cost of Rs 5,514 crore will also have similar Vertical Launcher modules.

Land Attack Variant

A land attack cruise missile (LACM) version of Brahmos was inducted into the Army in June 2007.

The Army has plans to induct three batteries to constitute its first Brahmos regiment in near future to use the missile as a "precision first strike weapon."

The first battery entered service in June 2007

A total of two regiments are planned.

A battery consists of four road-mobile autonomous launchers on 12x12 Tatra vehicles, each with three missiles.

Submarine Launched Variant

Work is on to develop the submarine and air-launched versions of Brahmos.

Airborne Variant

An air launched version of the missile to be launched from a Su-30MKI fighter is under development. Sukhoi is working on the MKI modifications while Brahmos Aerospace is in the process of reducing the weight of the missile to 2.5 tons, from the 3.0 tons of the land based version.

Since the airborne version will be launched at considerable height and speed it is possible to save weight by reducing the propellant carried on the ramjet missile.

It is moot if the airborne version of the missile is being downsized to keep Russia compliant of the MTCR regime or because the MKIs cannot carry a 3.0 ton load on its center line pylon.

It is also reported that the weight of missile missile warhead is being increased to 300kg from 200kg. It is possible that the weight saving achieved as a result of the reduced propellant load are being partially utilized to increase the destructive power of the missile.

Drop trials of the missile, presumably from the IAF Su-30MKIs sent to Russia for modification, will be conducted in 2010.

The missile is expected to be ready for induction into the IAF by 2112.

News

A land attack cruise missile (LACM) version of the Brahmos was tested at the Pokhran range in Jaisalmer on Tuesday, January 20.

The test was witnessed by the Chief of Army staff General Deepak Kapoor and senior officials of Indian Air force.



The missile test was a failure, the first acknowledge in 17 tests.

Army losing interest in Brahmos missile
Disappointed by the recent failure of the missile and the huge cost overruns, the Army is not inclined to procure the additional 240 missiles it showed interest in earlier.

While placing the initial order for 66 missiles in 2006, the Army stipulated that Block II versions of the missiles delivered following the initial order be equipped with a "multi-spectral seeker" capable of better target discrimination than the current radar seeker.

The army wants a seeker that allows the missile to stay locked to its designated target even when the target area is cluttered.

The Block I missile radar seeker is only effective against isolated targets as the missile was basically designed to attack ships. When confronted with multiple targets in the target zone, the missile homes on to the target reflecting the maximum amount of radar energy.

In the land attack mode the missile can easily stray off its designated target when adjacent objects have relatively higher radar reflection.

Repeat test successful
A repeat test of the Brahmos Block II Land Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) on Tuesday, March 3, at the Pokharan test range in Rajasthan was declared successful by the DRDO.

"The Block II BrahMos missile was successfully launched at 1030 hours this morning," said an official of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The vertically launched missile "took two-and-a half-minutes to strike its target in the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan."

Indian Army has yet to acknowledge the success of the test.

Third test successful
A third test of the Block II version of Brahmos Land Attack Cruise Missile on Sunday, March 29, was termed "extremely successful" by the Indian Army

The launch was witnessed by DG military operations Lt Gen A S Sekhon and commandant, School of Artillery, Lt Gen K R Rao.

The Army which had not officially commented on the result of the second test on March 3, was unequivocal about the success of the test on Sunday.

"Accuracy was the watchword. We had wanted them to include another sensor (in the missile). That is what these last three trials (were about). Because more than the naval version, in the Army, we wanted the missile to distinguish between similar kind of targets in urban areas. So this third test has been extremely successful," Army vice chief Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj told reporters.

"The process (of induction) will now start. Because now after carrying out the three field trials, the army is absolutely satisfied," he added.

Fourth test successful
A fourth test of the Block II version of Brahmos on Wednesday, Juy 29, was described as a complete success with the missile striking the "bulls eye."

"The missile took off successfully and hit the desired target at Ajasar area range situated 25 km away from launching pad, meeting all mission parameters," a source said.

"With this launch, the requirement of Army for the land attack version with block-II advanced seeker software with target discriminating capabilities has been fully met and this version is ready for induction," the source said. The missile will provide an enhanced capability to the army for selection of a particular land target among a group of targets.
 

RPK

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India, Russia to develop new hypersonic cruise missile

New Delhi: India and Russia have agreed to develop and induct a new hypersonic version of their joint venture 290-kilometre-range BrahMos cruise missile by 2015.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between the two sides last month, in which they agreed on the final parameters for the new version of the cruise missile, Defence Ministry sources said.


The new missile, they said, will be known as 'BrahMos-2' and will have a speed of over 6 Mach (around 6,000 kilometres per hour) with a striking-range of 290 kilometres.

The range of the missile will not be extended as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), to which Russia is a signatory, does not allow it to help other countries to develop missiles with ranges above 300 kilometres, they said.

Under the agreement, the two sides have decided to retain the physical parameters of the missile so that after the induction of the missiles there is no need to replace the launchers and other ground infrastructure for using new missiles.

The missiles will be "picked and put" in the old launchers for usage by armed forces in the two countries, the sources added.

BrahMos is the only operational supersonic cruise missile with a speed of 2.8 Mach and is three-and-a-half times faster than the American Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The missile has already been inducted into the Navy and the Indian Army, and the IAF is also working on integrating it on its frontline air superiority fighter SU-30MKI.

A number of Naval ships have been armed with the BrahMos and the under-construction Talwar Class frigates in Russia will also have it as their main weapon.

The Army has till now has raised one regiment of the BrahMos and is expected to induct two more regiments of an upgraded version of the missile by the end of the current fiscal.
 

indian_blues

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what is the need for hyper-sonic cruise missile with the same range of brahmos? We intended to go alone for brahmos-II and suddenly we joint ventured with Russians again. It's bloody confusing.
 

RPK

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The name for hyper-sonic cruise missile is brahmos-II . we cannot have tecnology transfer in missile range more then 300kms due to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR),
 

nitesh

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what is the need for hyper-sonic cruise missile with the same range of brahmos? We intended to go alone for brahmos-II and suddenly we joint ventured with Russians again. It's bloody confusing.
To get rid of MTCR the engine in BrhaMos II is going to be Indian it has already been tested last year once. So don't read too much in to range factor I don't think any official confirmation of range has been given even if it has then it can be increased without any ruckus as we are not signatory of MTCR
 

Sabir

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I read somewhere only similarily between Brahmos and Brahmos-II will be the name. Technology, look, range everything will be different.
 

indian_blues

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To get rid of MTCR the engine in BrhaMos II is going to be Indian it has already been tested last year once. So don't read too much in to range factor I don't think any official confirmation of range has been given even if it has then it can be increased without any ruckus as we are not signatory of MTCR
Even though we are not signatory of MTCR Russians won't so it's going to be the same range. When a super-sonic cruise missile can't be intercepted why we need a hyper-sonic version of it's same range? Logically instead of speed we should have worked on Brahmos-I range, atleast for 1000km, that would make it more lethal.
 

nitesh

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There is no projectile that can't be intercepted at all. Just one well directed hit can do the job hence we need to keep improving in terms of every aspect be in range or speed. And sabir is right BrahMos II is a different beast altogether
 

ppgj

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Even though we are not signatory of MTCR Russians won't so it's going to be the same range. When a super-sonic cruise missile can't be intercepted why we need a hyper-sonic version of it's same range? Logically instead of speed we should have worked on Brahmos-I range, atleast for 1000km, that would make it more lethal.
brigadier,
nirbhay is coming up. it is subsonic with 1000km range.
 
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Brahmos 2 will not be interceptable even Brahmos 1 is uninterceptable, and Brahmos 2 is twice the speed of Brahmos 2. The MCTR issue is sticky but I remember Dr Pillai saying he wants to drop the Russians from the whole project and make it completely indigenous, to get around the MCTR we can develop the missile with the Russians and do the complete production in India.
 

amitkriit

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Brahmos 2 will not be interceptable even Brahmos 1 is uninterceptable, and Brahmos 2 is twice the speed of Brahmos 2. The MCTR issue is sticky but I remember Dr Pillai saying he wants to drop the Russians from the whole project and make it completely indigenous, to get around the MCTR we can develop the missile with the Russians and do the complete production in India.
If supersonic aircrafts can be intercepted why can't Brahmos get intercepted? Whats so special about this vehicle?
 
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Some people claim that the AEGIS system that USA has can counter Brahmos, but there is no evidence of this, Brahmos subsonic is still manuverable flying close to Mach 3, it is able to perform S manuevers as one feature, there will be a narrow window for where there will be no defenses then some defenses will be developed this window may last from years to decades, this is why Indian govt want to work on a hypersonic version to ensure it can't be intercepted or that window lasts a lot longer.
 

nitesh

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fullstory

The new missile, they said, will be known as 'BrahMos-2' and will have a speed of over 6 Mach (around 6,000 kilometres per hour) with a striking-range of 290 kilometres.
domain-b.com : India, Russia to develop hypersonic BrahMos-II cruise missile

The new missile, with a speed of over Mach 6 (around 6,000 kilometres per hour) and a striking-range of 290 kilometres, will be known as BrahMos-II.

According to BrahMos Aerospace, the hypersonic version will have a scramjet engine in place of a ramjet, which will allow speeds in excess of Mach 4. Scramjets allow combustion to occur in supersonic airflow.
The hypersonic version will be capable of immense destructive power on account of kinetic energy resulting from its immense speed. According to BrahMos Aerospace, an object striking a target at Mach 6 will have 36 times the force of an object of the same mass striking the target at Mach 1.

This phenomenon makes a hypersonic missile well suited to attacking hardened or deeply buried targets such as bunkers or nuclear or biological weapons storage facilities
 

nitesh

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With this news I am making this thread as sticky now all discussions on brahMos II on this thread
 

Daredevil

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domain-b.com : India, Russia to develop hypersonic BrahMos-II cruise missile

The new missile, with a speed of over Mach 6 (around 6,000 kilometres per hour) and a striking-range of 290 kilometres, will be known as BrahMos-II.

According to BrahMos Aerospace, the hypersonic version will have a scramjet engine in place of a ramjet, which will allow speeds in excess of Mach 4. Scramjets allow combustion to occur in supersonic airflow.
Great news. Sorry for nitpicking but Mach 6.0 actually translates into 7200 km/h considering mach 6 speed = 2000 mtrs/sec.

One problem with such high speeds is the ability to maneuver if and when it need to strike the target. It has to take the position in the direction of target before reaching the Mach 6 speeds. So, it will be really interesting to know the maneuver pattern that will be followed in Brahmos-II
 

prahladh

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domain-b.com : India, Russia to develop hypersonic BrahMos-II cruise missile



Great news. Sorry for nitpicking but Mach 6.0 actually translates into 7200 km/h considering mach 6 speed = 2000 mtrs/sec.

One problem with such high speeds is the ability to maneuver if and when it need to strike the target. It has to take the position in the direction of target before reaching the Mach 6 speeds. So, it will be really interesting to know the maneuver pattern that will be followed in Brahmos-II
at mach6 does it need to maneuver against targets that don't move at at least half its speed.
 
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Missile Monitor: Plans to export BrahMos


Plans to export BrahMos

India’s Defence Minister A K Antony left for a four-day trip to Moscow. This trip is expected to reinvigorate defence cooperation between both countries - close to 70 percent of India's inventory is directly or indirectly related to Russia. During the meeting with his Russian counterpart, Anatoliy Serdyukov, discussions will be held on the BrahMos cruise missile.

The BrahMos is a supersonic anti-ship and land attack missile, which can be launched from submarines, ships, aircrafts and land-based Mobile Autonomous Launchers. It has a range of 300 km and can attain a speed of Mach 2.8, which makes it about three times faster than the subsonic U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile and the Pakistani Babur missile, which was deployed in 2005 and reaches a speed of 880 km/h. While BrahMos’ speed and versatility are definitely noteworthy, its true technical prowess still remains to be seen. As it is the case with almost every Russian military product that enters the market, comments were made that it is superior to U.S. products. As always, these comments have to be taken with a grain of salt.



So far India is the only country to have this missile in the arsenals. It tested the missile successfully already in 2004 and deployed a sea-based version in 2006. The land-attack version was put into service in July this year. Air and submarine-launched versions of BrahMos are also in the pipeline for the Indian armed forces. During the visit of Defense Minister Antony to Russia, India is hoping to prepare the ground for Russia to acquire the BrahMos missiles. Even though the missile was jointly developed, Russia has no legal obligations to induce it. However, this would be highly welcomed by the Indian side and seen as a gesture that would strengthen the defense cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore, if not only India, but also Russia, a major military power and arms exporter, had the BrahMos in its arsenal, the trust into this weapon system would increase significantly and so would the chances for exporting it.

Especially India has been keen to jumpstart the process of exporting BrahMos for some time. The global cruise missile market estimated to be worth around $10 billion in the coming decade, but there has been opposition from some quarters in Russia. In January this year Russia clarified that it was not opposed to selling BrahMos to some "specific third countries". As Stratfor reports, Dr A. Sivathanu Pillai, chief executive officer of BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd., emphasized in an Oct. 4 interview Malaysia's candidacy to be the first export customer, though he insisted on the use of official channels in setting up the deal. Malaysia has well established arms trade connections with Russia from which it bought already four missile systems. Against this background Malaysia is more likely to buy the missile, if Russia were stressing its contribution to the BrahMos joint venture by acquiring the missile itself.
Malaysia already fields Harpoon, Exocet, Otomat, and Sea Eagle anti-ship cruise missiles. The speed of all these missiles is high subsonic. Being one of the nations bordering the busiest shipping lane in the world - the Strait of Malacca – the modern supersonic BrahMos will significantly increase the stand of the country.

Dangers exist, that this might cause the other countries that neighbor the Strait of Malacca or in the region in general also to upgrade their arsenals. Indonesia, for example, possesses Harpoon and Exocet anti-ship missiles. These systems were already fielded in the 1970’s. They are not only aging, but also have a significantly shorter range and a lower speed than the BrahMos missile. The Exocet missile reaches only up to 70 km and the Harpoon between 120 and 240 km, depending on the type. Especially if one takes into consideration the vast length of the Indonesian coastline, which is over 80,000 km, a significantly greater range and higher speed of a new anti-ship missile could contribute to the Indonesian decision to buy this weapon. The same is true for Thailand, which has besides Harpoon and Exocet missiles the Chinese origin FL-1/-2 and YJ-1/-2 missiles, which have the same speed and range shortcomings as the former missiles.

Talks had also been held so far with Chile, South Africa, Kuwait and UAE in this regard. Overall, BrahMos Aerospace hopes to be able to sell around 1,000 missiles. As The Times of India notes, this will be a big step forward for India, which has so far imported cutting-edge military technology rather than exporting it. This step is certainly big in the sense that it constitutes a major shift in the country's status from being a missile importer to being a missle exporting nation. However, this step is definitely no big event in other terms: the proliferation of anti-ship missile technology will continue. The next steps are already laid out. The Daily India reports about future plans for a hypersonic version of the Brahmos cruise missile:
 
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Modalities of BrahMos-II project in final stage | KuwaitSamachar

Modalities of BrahMos-II project in final stage


The modalities for developing hypersonic missile BrahMos-II to be carried out by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, are on the verge of being finalised, a top official of the company said in Tiruchirapalli.

A final shape of the project, aimed at developing the aerial version of BrahMos missile that could traverse at speeds between Mach 5 to Mach 7, would emerge shortly, BrahMos Aerospace CEO and Managing Director A Sivathanu Pillai told reporters here yesterday.

The design team had already been lined up and discussions would be held shortly between the joint venture partners on investments, sharing of technical responsibilities, administration and sharing of manufacturing facility infrastructure, he said.

Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, which has a capability of carrying 300 kg conventional warheads at a speed of around 2.8 Mach, has already been inducted by the Army and the Navy.

On the new version of BrahMos, Pillai said the preliminary exercise for its induction into the Indian Air Force is already on.

Work related to the design and development of this version had been fruitful and the advanced missile, which weighs 0.5 tonne less than that of the three-tonne land version BrahMos, was ready and the company awaited the modified SUKOI-30 MKI aircraft that would carry the weapon.

Pillai said he was hopeful that the target for induction of the air version set for 2012 would be achieved.

After being fitted on an aircraft, BrahMos will be the only cruise missile with the capability of being launched from land, sea and air, he said.

To a query on export potential of BrahMos missile, Pillai said a of number countries evinced keen interest in it, but the priority was to meet the high domestic requirement.

For meeting the demand, the company was in the process of upgrading the production infrastructure at multiple locations besides enhancing component suppliers by including new large and medium sized industries. Companies like the Larsen Tubro, Godrej, BEML, BHEL and HAL were in the list.

On BrahMos Aeropsace's Thiruvananthapuram facility, Pillai said seven acres of land in possession of Indian Air force adjacent to the main campus was expected to be handed over to BrahMos Aerospace shortly.

The facility would be converted into a fully capable Missile Integration Complex to produce components meant for missile programme as well aerospace industries requirements.

The facility would produce core components for ISRO's PSLV and GSLV rockets, missile chambers and control configurations and fabrication of missiles and development of ground system components.

It would also fabricate universal launchers for the aircraft version missiles and is also in the process of obtaining Aerospace Standards Certification AS-9100, he added.
 

p2prada

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I read a report in ToI a couple of days ago. The Brahmos 2 will have a 300kg warhead and 290km range. There will be no increase in warhead and range due to MTCR.
 

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