Supersonic Cruise Missile: Brahmos

By Naveen Singh|Updated : April 1st, 2019

Know all about Brahmos Missile here. The World's fastest cruise missile, Brahmos is one of the most important arsenals in India’s side when dealing with any sort of external aggression.

Let’s see what makes this missile so special that many countries are interested in purchasing this weapon.

Supersonic Cruise Missile: Brahmos

The Brahmos Missile is a result of Joint Venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Brahmos name has been derived from two rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.

The need for Brahmos

India had already developed ballistic missiles like Agni, Prithvi etc. These missiles have good range but the thing is they follow a trajectory by going outside the atmosphere and then using gravitation force to hit its target.

Due to this the ballistic missile could be easily traced and destroyed by enemy’s anti-ballistic missile system.

Cruise missile on the other hand use terrain hugging path, which means that they generally fly at an altitude that is much closer to the ground and hence are not easily detected.

Hence there was a severe need for a cruise missile. Hence a deal was struck between India and Russia in 1998 to develop a supersonic cruise missile.


Development of Brahmos

Brahmos was developed on similar ideas as that of Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile. The first successful test fire was conducted on 21 June 2001 from Integrated Test Firing Range off Chandipur coast in Odisha. Besides this, the missile is highly versatile and can be used from land, sea, air and even underwater.

Following are the variants of Brahmos:

  1. Surface to Surface Variant: To be used by Indian Army (mobile canister based); To be used by Indian Navy (from warships - INS Rajput, INS Teg etc.)
  2. Submarine Variant: To  be used by Indian Navy
  3. Air Variant: To be used by Indian Air Force (Sukhoi Su-30 MKI)


Features of Brahmos

The missile had an initial range of 290 kilometres which has been recently upgraded to 450 Km for land and sea variant while the air variant has a max range of 400 Km.




3000 Kg (Land & Sea); 2500 Km (Air)

Max Speed

Mach 2.8 to Mach 3.0  


200 Kg conventional & 300 Kg Nuclear

Further Development

The cruise missile is undergoing various upgrade such as increasing its range to 800 Km and also increasing its speed to Mach 4.0, also an Unmanned Combat aerial vehicle version is also being developed by DRDO.

Brahmos NG:

It is a next-generation model of Brahmos which would be smaller up to 1.5 tons which would make it much harder to be detected by a Radar.

Brahmos II:

India in 2016 became a part of Missile Technology Control Regime due to which both Russia & India are planning on an upgraded version of Brahmos which will be hypersonic i.e would be 7 times the speed of sound and a range of 600 Km.

Production of Brahmos

Both India and Russia have planned to develop 2000 Brahmos missile over the next 10 years out of which 50% of these will be exported to friendly countries. The production centre is in Thiruvananthapuram. Many countries such as the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, Egypt, Venezuela etc. have expressed their interest in purchasing the missile. 


With the advent of Brahmos, the Indian defence forces are becoming much more self-reliant and with its state of the art technology, it will surely act as a deterrent which India needs.

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