India on Tuesday test-fired a land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, news agency ANI reported quoting sources. “India today test-fired a land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The target of the missile was on another island there. More details awaited,” reported ANI.
“The supersonic cruise missile was testfired at 10 AM today and it successfully hit its target. The test was conducted by the Indian Army which has many regiments of the DRDO-developed Missile system. The strike range of BrahMos missile has now been enhanced to over 400 km,” it said further quoting sources.
This development comes amid reports India will carry out “multiple live tests” of the supersonic missile this week amid ongoing tensions across both the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and, in recent days, the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. In fact, as of last month, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had test-fired at least 10 missiles in just 35 days. One of those was BrahMos itself, which was test-fired from INS Chennai on October 18.
Similar tests will be carried out by the Navy and IAF also in the Indian Ocean Region this week. “The requisite advance warnings to aircraft and ships in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal have been issued,” said a defense ministry source. The tests come even as BrahMos land-attack missile batteries have already been deployed in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, along with tanks, howitzers, surface-to-air missiles, and other weapons, as part of the overall military readiness posture against China. Similarly, some Sukhoi-30MKI fighters armed with BrahMos missiles are also deployed in airbases closer to the Line of Actual Control.
Sources say work is also underway to make the enhanced version of BrahMos with a strike range of almost 450-km, which has been successfully tested three to four times, operational as soon as possible. Moreover, India and Russia are also getting set to test a new version of BrahMos, with an 800-km range, by the middle of next year
The tests this week will see the Army firing the air-breathing missile at the Trak island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, while naval warships test the anti-ship variant on the high seas.