|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Sep 25, 2016 08:29 PM EDT|
(Photo : BrahMos Aerospace) Comparison in size between the current BrahMos and the upcoming BrahMos NG.
China views with alarm and dread the coming deployment by India of the new BrahMos NG supersonic cruise missile that will be smaller, faster, stealthier and deadlier than the BrahMos variants now in service with the Indian Armed Forces, said Russian media.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has gone so far as to denounce the BrahMos NG (for Next Generation), painting it as a threat that raises the stakes in a longstanding territorial dispute between the two countries along the disputed 4,000 kilometer-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) dividing both countries.
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The PLA's concern over the coming deployment of BrahMos NG to Arunachal Pradesh is understandable given it currently has no effective defense against the older, land-launched and sea-launched version of BrahMos -- the world's fastest cruise missile -- that streaks towards its targets at Mach 3.0 (3,700 km/h).
BrahMos NG will be smaller and this feature reduces its radar cross section, making it more difficult to detect. This reduction in size also means an Indian Air Force Sukhoi SU-30MKI attack jet can loft three of the new missiles instead of only one.
BrahMos NG will also be faster at Mach 3.5 (4,300 km/h) and will be "smarter" because of its ability to steep-dive on a target behind the reverse slopes of hills and mountains after taking evasive maneuvers.
A hypersonic variant of the missile named BrahMos II will tear through the air at Mach 7 (8,600 km/h) and is expected to be deployed some eight years from now or by 2025.
BrahMos "with updated capabilities for stealth and mountain warfare could threaten Yunnan and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) provinces, located across the border from Arunachal Pradesh," said the PLA in a statement.
The statement also noted deploying BrahMos NG was "beyond India's 'normal need for self-defense.' Playing tricks, they are bound to suffer the consequences."
BrahMos II will confer a major strategic advantage in mountain warfare on India. The missile is designed to select targets hidden behind a mountain range and its "hypersonic qualities the missile would likely pass through Beijing's defense systems like a knife through butter," said a Russian report.
Russia is justifiably proud of the fear inspired by BrahMos since it co-developed the missile with India. BrahMos is a joint venture between the Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) that together formed BrahMos Aerospace, the maker of the missile.
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