Facts

India/U.S. Designation BrahMos
Missile Variants BrahMos-I/BrahMos-II
Mobility and Role Highly mobile/Land Attack Cruise Missile
Designer/Producer India/Russia
Range 300-500km
Warhead Type and Weight Nuclear or Conventional/300kg
MIRV and Yield No MIRV capabilities/200-400kt
Guidance System/Accuracy GPS/1.5m CEP
Stages/Propellant Multistage/Solid
IOC/Retirement 2001/Still in service
Status/Number of Units Operational/ N/A

Development

The BrahMos system is a land-attack cruise missile with a reported range of 300km. [1] This project is a joint development program between Indian and Russian development teams. The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India are partnered with the Russian Joint Stock Company “Military Industrial Consortium” NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM). [2] Each group contributed some technology to create the BrahMos missile program. DRDO had developed the navigational systems, and the software to program the missile while NPOM provided such technology as ramjet engines, as well as the launch vehicles of the cruise Missiles. [3]   The BrahMos is not only designed to engage land targets, but also sea and air targets as well as being deployed on a variety of platforms, like fighter craft or destroyer class ship. [4] The missile was flight tested in June of 2001. The second iteration, the Brahmos 2, is still in development but was flight-tested in 2012. [5] The BrahMos II is reported to be hypersonic, or travel at least five times the speed of sound, whereas the BrahMos I is only supersonic, meaning it breaks the sound barrier but under Mach Five speeds. [6] The latest variant is also suspected to have a range of up to 500km.

Strategic Implications

This missile system would allow India’s military forces to have an extended range; due to its limited number and high costs, it exists more as precision weapon against specific targets. [7] Also, since the BrahMos is planned to be adapted to multiple platforms, such as fighter jets or ships, each branch of the Indian military will have greater precision when attacking targets. [8] There are reports that India exporting the BrahMos missile could see the proliferation of advanced technologies to less developed militaries of the world such as Brazil, Chile, and South Africa. [10]


References

[1] “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, 2013, accessed July 1, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf.

[2] “About Joint Venture,” BrahMos, accessed July 1, 2014, http://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/missile-proliferation/india/bhramos/ .

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, 2013, accessed July 1, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf .

[6] “Brahmos Hypersonic Cruise Missile,” BrahMos, accessed July 1, 2014, http://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/missile-proliferation/india/bhramos/ .

[7] “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” Air Force ISR Agency, 2013, accessed July 1, 2014,http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf.

[8] “Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile,” BrahMos Aerospace, accessed July 2, 2014, http://www.brahmos.com/content.php?id=10&sid=10 .

[9] Gardiner Harris, “World’s Biggest Arms Importer, India Wants to Buy Local,” The New York Times, March 06, 2014, accessed July 2, 2014,  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/business/international/worlds-biggest-arms-importer-india-wants-to-buy-local.html?_r=0 .

[10] “Brahmos Aims to Create $13 Billion Order Book,” The Economic Times, September 1, 2010, accessed July 2, 2014, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-09-01/news/27593410_1_brahmos-missile-npo-mashinostroyenia-brah-mos-aerospace .

Missile Threat and Proliferation

Contact

International Cooperation