|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Oct 19, 2016 07:34 AM EDT|
(Photo : Indian Army) BrahMos will soon envelop all of Pakistan.
India and Russia have agreed to work together to more than double the range of India's BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to over 600 kilometers, an upgrade that will bring all of Pakistan within range of the missile's high explosive or nuclear warheads.
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The far longer range will also enable this as yet unnamed model to attack more People's Liberation Army bases in the interior of Tibet that threaten the Line of Actual Control, especially those bases aimed at the imperiled Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh China claims is part of Tibet.
One of the biggest drawbacks to BrahMos -- the world's fastest cruise missile -- is its paltry range of just 290 kilometers. That drawback was imposed 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, which means it can now develop but not export missiles with a range exceeding 300 km.
BrahMos is being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia's Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPOM.
The decision to extend the range of BrahMos was announced by Russian president Vladimir Putin during the recent 17th annual India-Russia bilateral summit in Goa last Oct. 15.
"We have also agreed to improve the BrahMos missile, which will be land, air and sea launched. We will also work to increase its range. And we will work together on a fifth-generation aircraft," said Putin said.
During this summit, India also signed a total of 16 agreements covering national defense, including an agreement to purchase of the potent S-400 Triumf air defense missile system (one of the world's best) for about $5 billion. This new system will be used against Pakistan, as well.
The Pakistani military is justifiably worried about BrahMos. One of its websites described the Indian missile as "stealthy, fast and extremely difficult to shoot down."
It also noted that "BrahMos's ability to maintain supersonic speeds while skimming at low altitude makes it very difficult to detect and intercept. To cap it off, the BrahMos performs an evasive 'S-maneuver' shortly before impact, making it difficult to shoot down at close range."
BrahMos' accuracy is astonishing. It can deliver its 200 kg conventional semi-armor-piercing or nuclear warhead to one meter of its target.
Its speed is equally stunning. The missile can hurtle towards its target at Mach 3 (3,700 km/h). The newest version under development will double this speed to Mach 7 (8,600 km/h)
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