India has successfully test-fired an extended range (ER) version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
The fastest cruise missile in the world, the BrahMos was tested for a range of more than 400 km. Current versions operational with Indian Navy, Air Force and Army have only a range of 290 km.
The range extension of the joint Indo-Russian program, was possible after India’s full membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a multilateral export control regime to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying above 500 kg payload for more than 300 km.
A land-attack version of BrahMos deployed by Indian Army was used for the mission. The range extension was achieved by changes to the flight software rather than structural modification.
The missile flew a rather straight flight without the major maneuvers it is capable of, to save energy and extend the range.
BrahMos Aerospace plans to further extend the range to up 1000 km, towards the end of 2019.
The BrahMos was developed as a joint venture between the India's Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
The design was based on Russian P-800 Onik cruise missile. The two stage BrahMos have a solid propellant first stage and a liquid ramjet engine powered second stage. It flies supersonic all throughout its flight regime.
The missile can reach a speed close to Mach 3. It can carry a conventional weapon payload of 200 to 300 kg.
Currently the target homing seeker and the propulsion unit continuous to be Russian made.
BrahMos was first test fired in 2001. The anti ship version was the first to enter service with Indian Navy's Rajput destroyer in 2005. Later a land attack version for Indian Army was developed and inducted into service.
A submarine launched version of BrahMos was test-fired successfully in March 2013.
Currently flight trials of an air launched version to arm Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters are undergoing, featuring the same 290 km range and Mach 3 speed.