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India Test Fires Air-Launched BrahMos Cruise Missile

India test-fired the air version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile Wednesday, paving the way for its serial production.

The defense ministry revealed that the Sukhoi 30 MK-I-fired missile “followed the pre-planned trajectory meeting all mission objectives,” validating its “integrity and functional performance.”

Enables ‘Large Stand-off Range’ Strike

The ministry had earlier stated that the air version of the liquid-fuelled ramjet-powered missile provides “the Indian Air Force a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.”

BrahMos is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. The missile is currently operational in land-launched and ship-launched versions, since 2005 and 2007, respectively. The air-launched version has been undergoing testing since 2017.

World’s Fastest Cruise Missile

The land and ship-launched BrahMos has a payload capacity of up to 200 kilograms (441 pounds), while its air version can carry a warhead of up to 300 kilograms (661 pounds).

At Mach 2.8, the BrahMos is the world’s fastest cruise missile, with a weight of 2.5 tons and a range of about 300 km (185 miles). Missile developers are reportedly planning to develop an extended range BrahMos which can travel up to 800 kilometers (497 miles).

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