India tested one of its new BrahMos missiles against a land target, with
the missile being fired from a ship that was 300 kilometers away from the
target on one of the uninhabited Andaman islands. The PJ-10 BrahMos is a 3.2
ton missile, that has a max range of 300 kilometers, and a 660 pound warhead.
Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the BrahMos is its high speed,
literally faster (at up to 3,000 feet per second) than a rifle bullet. The
missile is used by the army, navy and air force. The high speed makes the
missile much more effective as an anti-ship missile, as it gives the target
ship much less time to react and activate its defenses.
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 main reason for the high cost, is the high
speed. This would not be as much of a factor when fired against land targets,
except for high value targets that were heavily defended (by two or more layers
of missiles and radar controlled guns).
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 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.
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. India plans to buy 1,000 of them, and efforts
are being made to export up to 2,000.