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Artillery: India Strikes Out With BrahMos
   Next Article → SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Rolling With The Bribes Budget
January 22, 2009: The BrahMos cruise missile failed its first operational test. The Indian Army missile was fired from a truck mounted launcher, and missed its target some 200 kilometers distant. The missile was accepted for service by India two years ago, but the first operational test was delayed as engineers fussed over technical issues. The missile had performed well in development tests. But an operational test means the missile is issued to a combat unit, and fired by a military crew. Russia has had problems like this before, as have all countries. But Russia has had more problems with high tech weapons, like BrahMos, than Western nations.

Last year, India ordered 800 more of the new PJ-10 BrahMos missiles. The Indian Army plans to buy 80 launchers as well. Russia has not yet ordered any BrahMos, while India is also working on lighter versions for use by aircraft and submarines.

The 3.2 ton BrahMos has a range of 300 kilometers and a 660 pound warhead. Perhaps the most striking characteristic is its high speed, literally faster (at up to 3,000 feet per second) than a rifle bullet. Guidance is GPS or inertial to reach the general area of the target (usually a ship or other small target), then radar that will identify the specific target and hit it. The warhead weighs 660 pounds, and the high speed at impact causes additional damage (because of the weight of the entire missile.)

India and Russia developed the weapon together, and now offer the BrahMos for export. The high price of each missile, about $2.3 million, restricts the number of countries that can afford it. The weapon entered service with the Indian navy in 2005. Different versions of the PJ-10 can be fired from aircraft, ships, ground launchers or submarines. The maximum speed of 3,000 kilometers an hour makes it harder to intercept, and means it takes five minutes or less to reach its target. The air launched version weighs 2.5 tons, the others, three tons or more.

The 29 foot long, 670mm diameter missile is an upgraded version of the Russian SS-NX-26 (Yakhont) missile, which was in development when the Cold War ended in 1991. Lacking money to finish development and begin production, the Russian manufacturer made a deal with India to finish the job. India put up most of the $240 million needed to finally complete two decades of development. The PJ-10 is also being built in Russia. Efforts are being made to export up to 2,000. China and Iran have also expressed interest in the weapon, but only Malaysia, Chile, South Africa, Kuwait and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) have been approached with a sales pitch. Russia and India are encouraged enough to invest in BrahMos 2, which will use a scramjet, instead of a ramjet, in the second stage. This would double speed, and make the missile much more difficult to defend against.

The large order from India indicates it plans to make the missile a major weapon system. The BrahMos can carry a nuclear warhead, but is designed mainly to go after high value targets that require a large warhead and great accuracy. The BrahMos could take out enemy headquarters, or key weapons systems (especially those employing electronic or nuclear weapons.)

Next Article → SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Rolling With The Bribes Budget
  

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razputin       1/22/2009 10:20:14 AM
Brahmos was primarily designed to take out sea targets i.e. aircraft carriers and aircraft carrier battlegroup ships. It can actually differentiate targets and launching these in salvos does a lot to increase the chances of getting a kill. But even if is destroyed by say Phalanx the kintetic energy of the debris is still enough to inflict significant damage on target of any size. And whoever writes these articles needs to stop smoking crack and start checking his sources. What the indians were testing was a land based version of brahmos. The sea launched versions have been successfully tested almost 2 decades ago before it was even called brahmos.   
 
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Softwar       1/22/2009 2:02:35 PM
It would appear that this is a land attack version fired from a land based (truck) launcher.  The reason for the failure being circulated is the software malfunctioned because it was a new set designed for nuclear warheads.
 
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maruben    Problems?   1/22/2009 2:46:00 PM
Russia has had problems like this before, as have all countries. But Russia has had more problems with high tech weapons, like BrahMos, than Western nations.
 
Any weapon development has its problems, that is reason why tests are made. The amount of problems have nothing to do with the nationality of the designers or makers or user. Unless you want to say that the intelligence or capacity to avoid or eliminate those problems is related or given to certain nationalilties, for instance Western Europe.
 
The key point is if the problems are solved or not by the designers or makers or users.  
 
Besides, if the test was an operational one, why is Russia mentioned? Can not be said that the reasons for the failure were on the Indian side? Just asking.
 
 
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maruben    Problems?   1/22/2009 3:27:42 PM
Russia has had problems like this before, as have all countries. But Russia has had more problems with high tech weapons, like BrahMos, than Western nations.
 
Any weapon development has its problems, that is reason why tests are made. The amount of problems have nothing to do with the nationality of the designers or makers or user. Unless you want to say that the intelligence or capacity to avoid or eliminate those problems is related or given to certain nationalilties, for instance Western Europe.
 
The key point is if the problems are solved or not by the designers or makers or users.  
 
Besides, if the test was an operational one, why is Russia mentioned? Can not be said that the reasons for the failure were on the Indian side? Just asking.
 
 
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Softwar       1/22/2009 3:47:35 PM

Russia has had problems like this before, as have all countries. But Russia has had more problems with high tech weapons, like BrahMos, than Western nations.

 

Any weapon development has its problems, that is reason why tests are made. The amount of problems have nothing to do with the nationality of the designers or makers or user. Unless you want to say that the intelligence or capacity to avoid or eliminate those problems is related or given to certain nationalilties, for instance Western Europe.

 

The key point is if the problems are solved or not by the designers or makers or users.  

 

Besides, if the test was an operational one, why is Russia mentioned? Can not be said that the reasons for the failure were on the Indian side? Just asking.

 



Actually SP is correct here.  The Russians for various reasons have had teething problems with a wide variety of systsems.  The Bulava SLBM, the Krypton, the Yahont (aka BrahMos), Moskit....  Part of the problem is funding (or lack of) which cuts corners.  Part of the problem is systematic - the design bureau concept of draw it up in one bureau - while production is in a different bureau.  Also part of the problem is qualified engineers.  Why build missiles at rank wages when they can leave and design BMW bumpers for a decent living?
 
Again, the test appears to be on a land attack variant with uprated software for nuclear strike.  The Russians and Indian design teams are certainly pouring over the code to see what went wrong.  While it is possible the Indian Army unit doing the test firing was responsible - I kinda doubt it consider the way the BrahMos works - cannister fired - preloaded - all you do is enter the target, the firing time, a few other parameters and then sit back.
 
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HERALD1357    Not enough data.   1/22/2009 4:29:44 PM
I won't even speculate on failure mode. BrahMos reminds me of this American Turkey:
 
 
That should put BrahMos in its true technology tree perspective.

Tough to do then, tough to do now.
 
Everybody fails.
 
Herald
 
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Softwar       1/22/2009 4:38:40 PM
Actually BrahMos is closer to the Bendix Talos or RN Sea Dart.  It is a ramjet cruise missile not much more than that.  It is a smaller package than the Sunburn but a larger one than Krypton.  Thus, it is suppose to have better range because it is more efficient than the SS-N-22 (the size of a truck) and has more fuel capability than the short legged - air launch only - Krypton.
 
Talos had several features that made it identical to BrahMos - including a surface to surface strike mode and it was modified into a cruise missile target (SSSSM - or Seasnake).  Clearly, there is nothing like going 1500 mph at 9 feet. 
 
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Softwar       1/22/2009 4:55:20 PM
Excuse me - the Seasnake was a proposed follow on.  The remaining Talos missiles were converted into the MQM-8 Vandal target drones.
 
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ArtyEngineer    Softwar   1/22/2009 5:55:12 PM




Russia has had problems like this before, as have all countries. But Russia has had more problems with high tech weapons, like BrahMos, than Western nations.



 



Any weapon development has its problems, that is reason why tests are made. The amount of problems have nothing to do with the nationality of the designers or makers or user. Unless you want to say that the intelligence or capacity to avoid or eliminate those problems is related or given to certain nationalilties, for instance Western Europe.



 



The key point is if the problems are solved or not by the designers or makers or users.  



 



Besides, if the test was an operational one, why is Russia mentioned? Can not be said that the reasons for the failure were on the Indian side? Just asking.



 








Actually SP is correct here.  The Russians for various reasons have had teething problems with a wide variety of systsems.  The Bulava SLBM, the Krypton, the Yahont (aka BrahMos), Moskit....  Part of the problem is funding (or lack of) which cuts corners.  Part of the problem is systematic - the design bureau concept of draw it up in one bureau - while production is in a different bureau.  Also part of the problem is qualified engineers.  Why build missiles at rank wages when they can leave and design BMW bumpers for a decent living?

 

Again, the test appears to be on a land attack variant with uprated software for nuclear strike.  The Russians and Indian design teams are certainly pouring over the code to see what went wrong.  While it is possible the Indian Army unit doing the test firing was responsible - I kinda doubt it consider the way the BrahMos works - cannister fired - preloaded - all you do is enter the target, the firing time, a few other parameters and then sit back.

Now Im not a rocket guy, however I do know guidance and Nav systems quite well.  The majority of M982 Excalibur failures to date have been attributable to the firing unit.  There is a bunch of stuff you can mess up while preparing a guided munition for launch!!!
Regarding this specifc munition, the article says the guidance is GPS or Inertial, I strongly suspect it is actually Primary Inertial with GPS Aiding.  There are a bunch of ways this type of system can fail or even be deliberately spoofed if the software isnt smart enough to realise whats is happening!!!  Dont really want to go into too many details but lets just say that I can guarantee that the GPS aspect is not working of the same signals the US and its allies use!!!! 
 
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razputin       1/22/2009 5:58:20 PM
Look it's very simple. Bottom line is the cruise missile project needed funding. The only way to get it was to share the tech with Indians. Make them feel like they are contributing to the effort as well. The Russians get the money and the indians get a cool toy to play with and the ability to brag about being able to participate in the development of something 'fancy'. Just like PAKFA  Now there is a state owned missile corporation in Russia that is actually more or less well funded that continues R&D on various Russian missile tech and that has nothing to do with BrahMos. I am not sure what the Indians tried to do with this. Some reports indicate they were experimenting with outfitting BrahMos missile with a nuclear warhead of some sort. Otehrs that it was a failed land based launch. Whatever it was it is important to understand that the Brahmos project in no way indicates the state of missile tech in Russia at this point. What this failure shows is that Indians are having a hard time actually mastering the basic missile tech or the GPS guidance piece they were suppose to contribute is not as capable at this point as it should be. Yakhont is a working piece of tech. And it is very lethal HAROLD.  It's good enough to give any US Admiral a pause when considering deployment to certain areas of the world.
 
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