In a big boost to the armed forces, the Indian Navy on Thursday successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Arabian Sea. The state-of-the-art missile which can travel faster than the speed of sound is developed by India's premier defence company, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Russia. The naval variant of the missile will add greater firepower to the Indian Navy to project its power in the Indian Ocean Region.
The BrahMos missile with pinpoint accuracy can be launched as far as 290 km from the target in either inclined or verticle configuration based on the type of the ship or user requirements. The potential carriers of this missile include frigates, corvettes, offshore patrol vessels among others. The missile has successfully demonstrated its speed, efficiency, precision and power a number of times to the Indian Navy. The Navy began inducting the first version of BrahMos missile system in all its frontline warships since 2005.
Back in February 1998, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam signed an inter-governmental agreement with Russia's Deputy Defence Minister. As a result, a joint entity called 'BrahMos Aerospace' was created between the two countries. The Aerospace aimed at building the world's only supersonic cruise missile system. Initially, while India held a 50.5% share in the venture, the other stake was with Russia. BrahMos saw its first-ever successful launch on June 21, 2001. Post the 2001 launch, it was operationalised in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau of India's Brahmaputra river nad Russia's Moskva River.