India and Russia Developing Joint Hypersonic Cruise Missile

India and Russia will begin testing a hypersonic version of the BrahMos cruise missile by the middle of the decade, according to BrahMos Aerospace CEO and Managing Director Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai.

AW: When will the hypersonic version come out? What’s the latest from this front?

Dr. AS Pillai: The hypersonic version is on the drawing board and mutual discussions are in progress. We would like to freeze the design aspects in the near future. The realization of the missile would be taken up. Probably five years down the line, we can start testing of the missile.

The BrahMos II has been in development for a number of years. In 2008, Indian researchers tested the vehicle in a laboratory:

India’s showpiece supersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos, has now been successfully tested in  a hypersonic version, though under laboratory conditions, according to BrahMos Aerospace chief executive officer, Dr A Sivathanu Pillai.

‘We have achieved a speed of Mach 5.26 in our laboratory tests of the hypersonic version of the BrahMos. However, it will take some 15-20 tests under controlled conditions before the missile can be actually test-launched,” Dr Pillai said.

The test was conducted at the Hyderabad-based Advanced Systems Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which has developed the missile through a joint venture with Russia’s NPO organisation.

The supersonic version of the BrahMos missile has been deployed with the Indian Air Force and Navy. It travels at speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8.