The hypersonic missile would have immense destructive power besides its speed
by Mrityunjay Bose
If everything goes well, in a decade's time BrahMos missiles will be upgraded from supersonic to hypersonic speeds.
"We are working on increasing the speed of the missile in a phased manner," said Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace Ltd.
"Making BrahMos itself was a challenge and we have done it and we would upgrade as per the needs," said Jamshyd N Godrej, chairman of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Interacting with the media after Godrej Aerospace handed over the 100th set of airframe BrahMos Aerospace and also won the order to produce 100 more units of the air-launched versions of the missile, Mishra said the process has already begun.
"The current BrahMos missiles have a speed of 2.8 Mach. In two years time, we would have a speed of 3.5 Mach. In the next three to four years time, we would have a speed of 5 Mach," Mishra said.
"Then we have to go hypersonic which would take seven to 10 years, from ramjet engine we have to move to scramjet engine," he said, adding that the development is going to be a complex process.
"We have to look at heat, combustion, vibration and several other things," he said, adding that it's going to change the scenario.
The hypersonic missile would have immense destructive power besides its speed.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MRCR) regime has enabled India to trade in high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
Asked whether India is looking at exporting BrahMos to friendly countries, he said: "We have a set of users (Indian armed forces). We are working with them. We are manufacturing it. However, the issue of exports or other things has to be decided at the level of the Government of India."
"We have to keep on innovating and reinventing," he said, adding that Godrej Aerospace's work is commendable in the development of BrahMos.
"They have shown how a partnership works," he said.
BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile with a flight range of up to 290 km.
It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200-300 kg. It can cruise at an altitude of 15 km and as low as 10 metre above the ground and maintains supersonic speed (more than 1 km per second) throughout the duration of its flight.
Once the missile is fired, it doesn't need any guidance from a control centre. This makes it a 'fire and forget' missile.
Besides land-based targets, it can be fired from submarines and ships like the Talwar-class, Rajput-class and Sukhoi aircraft.