India’s firepower capability is set to get a big boost as India and Russia are jointly developing a new generation of Brahmos missiles with 600 km-plus range. The missile can hit projected targets with ‘very high degree’ of accuracy.
The upgrade will bring all of Pakistan within the range of missile’s high explosive or nuclear warheads.
The longer range BrahMos missile will also be able to attack more People’s Liberation Army bases in the interior of Tibet.
BrahMos range was limited to just 290 kilometers, because Russia, the co-builder of the missile, was a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) at the time BrahMos was being developed in the 1990s and India wasn’t.
The MTCR, which now consists of 35 nations, forbids its members from selling, jointly producing or exporting missiles with a range in excess of 300 km. India became the newest member of the MTCR club last June 28 meaning it can now develop but not export missiles with a range exceeding 300 km.
The biggest advantage of BrahMos is its ability to take down specific targets, making it a potential game changer in any conflict with Pakistan.
BrahMos is a cruise missile which makes it similar to a pilot-less fighter jet that can be maneuvered in flight, programmed to attack targets from any angle and evade enemy missile defence systems.
The missile is especially useful in taking down terror camps or hideouts even in mountain areas.
The Pakistani military is extremely worried about BrahMos as it maintains supersonic speed and performs an evasive ‘S-maneuver’ shortly before impact, making it difficult to shoot down at close range. It is also very difficult to detect and intercept.
The current speed of the missile is Mach 3 (3,700 km/h) and the newest version will double this speed to Mach 7 (8,600 km/h).