Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vertically launched Brahmos test: An analysis Posted by vkthakur in his Blog

A test of the vertically launched version of Brahmos missile was successfully carried out off the Orissa cost on March 21, 2010.
According to BrahMos Aerospace Chief, A. Sivathanu, the test demonstrated the missile's ability to maneuver at supersonic speeds and still strike its target.
The Brahmos missile was launched from a cruising INS Ranvir, a Kashin class destroyer, and hit its intended target, the decommissioned INS Meen, 290 km away in the Bay of Bengal.
"The missile was launched at 11:30 a.m. today from an Indian Navy ship INS Ranvir and it maneuvered successfully hitting the target ship successfully. It was a perfect hit and a perfect mission. After today's test, India has become the first and only country in the world to have a maneuvering supersonic cruise missile in its inventory," Sivathanu told the media in Delhi.
The test was the 22nd of all versions of the Brahmos missiles.
Both vertical launch, as well as supersonic maneuvering, has been tested with Brahmos earlier. So what was new?
The missile was vertically launched from INS Ranvir earlier in December 2008.
A maneuverable LACM version of the BrahMos missile, fired from a mobile launcher, was tested on Sunday, 04 Feb 2006 at Chandipur, Orissa.
The missile flew over the Gulf of Bengal at a 2.8 speed along an "S" trajectory.
BrahMos Chief Pillai told the press on that occasion that "...we staged for the first time on Sunday an experiment to see whether it [the missile] is able to make sharp maneuvers at supersonic speeds.
"The missile proved able to do it and, thereby, confirmed its very high combat effectiveness".
It is not clear how the missile test on Sunday was different from the earlier success claimed four years ago. Mr Pillai referred to it then as an experiment, but not this time.
The LACM version of the missile has a different seeker than the anti-shipping version, so that could be one imperative for a separate test.
It is also possible the latest test was used to validate a refinement in the maneuvering logic.
The 'S' maneuver demonstrated in the earlier test was primarily aimed at confusing defenses by approaching from any direction not just the predictable line of sight from the launcher to the target.
It is likely that the new test was conducted to validate the ability of the missile to maneuver randomly to evade defensive weapons and then still be able to hit the target. 

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