It smashes into Navy's decommissioned vessel in Bay of Bengal

BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, was bang on the target on Sunday, lifting off vertically from Naval destroyer INS Ranvir and punching a hole in a decommissioned vessel 290 km away in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast.

The missile, which was fired at 11.30 a.m. from INS Ranvir, climbed 200 metres vertically, then manoeuvred at supersonic speeds to cruise horizontally before smashing into the vessel INS Meen.

This is the 22nd launch of BrahMos, which has already been inducted into the Army and the Navy. It has been jointly developed by India and Russia.

According to A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, it was “a perfect mission.” Helicopters, which flew over the site of the target, had confirmed that INS Meen had been hit and damaged. It was taking in water.

Dr. Pillai said there were several advantages when the missile was launched vertically from a ship. It provided 360 degrees coverage of the target. In a vertical mode, the space it occupied in the ship was less. The missile could be totally hidden. This vertical launch was uniquely designed.

“No equivalent”

He called BrahMos “a formidable weapon”, which had “no equivalent.” It had a successful track record. The missile is nine-metre long and weighs three tonnes. It can fly at almost three times the speed of sound and can reach targets 290 km away. It is essentially an anti-ship missile.

President Pratibha Patil and Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated the missile engineers and the Naval personnel on the successful launch, Dr. Pillai said.