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22 Nov, 2023 12:08

Indian Navy test-fires extended-range BrahMos missile

New Delhi conducted two consecutive launches on Tuesday and Wednesday, showcasing its domestic military capabilities
Indian Navy test-fires extended-range BrahMos missile

New Delhi has successfully test-fired an extended-range anti-ship missile that was co-developed with Russia in India, making it the country’s first domestically produced naval projectile.

The exercise was carried out by the INS Imphal, the Indian Navy’s latest indigenous stealth guided-missile destroyer, which launched the BrahMos missiles on Tuesday and Wednesday, ANI news agency reported.

The report said the development underscored the Indian Navy’s focus on combat-readiness and the country’s growing shipbuilding capabilities. It was the first time BrahMos missiles have been fired from a warship before its commissioning.

The cruise missiles were developed by India and Russia, and originally had a range of 290km, subsequently extended to between 450km and 500km.

The INS Imphal, a Visakhapatnam-class (Project 15B) destroyer, undertook her maiden sea sortie in April. The ship was designed by the Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) shipyard in Mumbai. It incorporates several niche technologies and a high ratio of indigenous content, according to the navy.

The ship was delivered in October, four months ahead of schedule. Imphal, which can accommodate 312 crew members, has a range of 4,000 nautical miles and can carry out a 42-day mission in out-of-area operations.

The vessel is comprised of up to 75% domestic components, including BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, which were designed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russia joint venture.

It also features medium-range surface-to-air missiles produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bangalore, indigenous torpedo tube launchers, and anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers supplied by private infrastructure conglomerate Larsen and Toubro in Mumbai.

On Tuesday, India conducted another important trial, firing its new Naval Anti-Ship Missile Short Range (NASM-SR). A video shared by the Indian Navy on X (formerly Twitter) showed the launch from the Sea King 42B helicopter. “[It is] a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile tech, including seeker and guidance tech,” a spokesperson for the Indian Navy said.

NASM-SR underwent its inaugural test in eastern India’s Odisha state in May 2022. The missile can be launched from helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft.

Reports last month suggested that India was also gearing up to test a long-range anti-ship missile, which would have a range of around 500km. This would complement the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. Experts earlier noted that the new domestically developed missiles, once approved by the military, along with the BrahMos, would form the main part of India’s planned Integrated Rocket Force (IRF). The proposal to set up the IRF is mainly aimed at countering China’s rapidly expanding missile and nuclear forces.

Earlier this month, India test-fired Pralay, a surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile, which has been developed for deployment along India’s borders with China and Pakistan. The Pralay has a range of between 150km and 500km and a payload capacity of up to 1,000kg. In May, The Times of India reported that, apart from adding more Pralay missiles to its arsenal, India was also working on long-range land-attack cruise missiles (LR-LACMs) and submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs).

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