• Brahmos, the fastest cruise missile in the world co-developed by India and Russia, will be breaching the mach 7 barrier to be a ‘hypersonic’ system in the next decade.
• The missile, which currently travels at mach 2.8 or 2.8 times the speed of sound, will touch mach 3.5 soon and mach 5 in three years.
• Over the years, the basic missile system has been modified in a such a way that it can be fitted on various platforms, including ships, submarines, the Sukhoi-30 aircraft as well as land, for launch.
• The engine, propulsion technology and seeker are developed by the Russians, while Indians do the control systems, guidance, software, airframes and fire control systems.
=> About BrahMos
• The BrahMos is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace.
• The BrahMos missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra (India) and the Moskva (Russia).
=> Mach Number-
• It is the ratio of the speed of a body to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium.
Subsonic if Mach no. < 0.8 • Transonic If Mach no. lies between 0.8 and 1.2 • Supersonic If Mach no. lies between 1.2 and 5.0 • Hypersonic If Mach no. lies between 5.0 and 10.0 => Ballistic missile
• A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a ballistic trajectory with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target.
• An intercontinental ballistic missile trajectory consists of three parts-
(a) The powered flight portion
(b) The free-flight portion- constitutes most of the flight time
(c) The re-entry phase- where the missile re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
• Ballistic missiles can be launched from fixed sites or mobile launchers, including vehicles (e.g., transporter erector launchers (TELs)), aircraft, ships, and submarines.
=> Cruise Missile
• A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets that remain in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed.
• Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision.
• Cruise missiles can also be launched from air and fly within Earth’s atmosphere