Rishikesh Kumar. Sputnik International
The Indian military has deployed 450 km-range BrahMos cruise missiles and 800 km-range Nirbhay cruise missiles in the Ladakh region, as tensions with China continue simmering despite several rounds of talks.
India successfully test-fired an extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a domestically-manufactured booster from a test facility off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday morning. Defence officials said that the test of the missile, which can hit a target at a distance up to 450 kilometres, was carried out within the PJ-10 project of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
India’s High Energy Materials Research Laboratory developed the solid propellant booster for the BrahMos missiles. The propellant is ignited and spews out from the opposite side of the missile’s flight path, thus giving it the thrust to move forward.
The propulsion system and airframe for the missile are being imported from Russia, and Indian defence scientists expect that using domestic propulsion will save on the cost of the missile.
The supersonic missile is being hailed as an important milestone in the Indo-Russian military partnership since DRDO developed it in collaboration with Russian military technology firm NPOM.
The Indian military deployed a BrahMos air-to-air missile in the contested Ladakh region mirroring the People’s Liberation Army’s long-range surface-to-air missiles in Tibet and Xinjiang region. The Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday that subsonic Nirbhay missiles as well as Akash weapons have also been deployed to counter China in the event of a worst-case scenario.
On Tuesday, the two Asian giants toughened their stand on the Ladakh region as China termed it “illegally established Indian territory”, while New Delhi made it clear that it doesn’t recognise the 1959 Line of Actual Control.