Significantly, the company has also revealed that it will conduct the first test of its underwater launched variant “very shortly,” possibly before the end of March. Once proven, the weapon, designated BrahMos-S, will arm Indian attack submarines, including potentially the Project 75I license-build program that is expected to begin soon with the release of a request for proposals. The BrahMos-S test will come close on the heels of India’s secretive K-15 subsurface-launched missile test in January in the Bay of Bengal. The 750-km range K-15, designated Project B-05 by the Advanced Naval Systems Directorate, will be deployed on the country’s under-test Arihant nuclear ballistic missile submarine.
The joint venture also for the first time showcased its BrahMos-2 hypersonic weapon concept at the recently concluded Aero India show, which is held every two years at the IAF’s Yelahanka station outside Bengaluru. The scramjet-powered weapon is intended for a debut test in 2016-17. Preliminary research and development on the weapon has begun.
The BrahMos land version currently arms three army regiments, and was recently tested in a Block III configuration that showcases a steep-dive capability, allowing the missile to be used in high altitude terrain.
Despite its successful induction into the Indian armed forces, the BrahMos has yet to be either ordered by Russia or exported to friendly countries, as New Delhi and Moscow had agreed. Sources indicate that countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia have expressed interest in the land and ship-launched versions of the weapon, and are likely to be given demonstrations this year.
BrahMos photo: PIB