BrahMos missiles are medium range supersonic cruise missiles developed by India in a joint venture with Russia. BrahMos is considered as world’s only supersonic cruise missile system. These missiles are an important part of our defence system and have a huge demand in the outside world.


It was in 1983 when a programme to address the country’s defence requirements are launched. It was named as “Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).” This project is mainly focused on achieving self-sufficiency in the manufacture and market of intermediate and short-range missiles indigenously. After the Gulf war in the 1990s, the country felt that it needs an indigenous cruise missile system. To fulfil this need, India along with long-term partner Russia inked an intergovernmental agreement. The agreement was signed on 12 February 1998 by former President of India and Missile scientist Dr A P J AbdulKalam(Missile man of India) and Russia’s first deputy defence minister Dr Mikhailov. This opened the way for a new venture- BrahMos Aerospace which is a collaboration between India’s Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM). India holds 50.5% of the share costing $126.25 million while Russia holds 49.5% of the share costing $123.75 million. The major aim of this partnership is to design, build and market the unique supersonic ramjet cruise missile- The Brahmos. BrahMos is the name which is a combination of 2 mighty rivers in India and Russia. “Brah” is the abbreviation of river “Brahmaputra” in India and “Mos” is the abbreviation of river “Moskva” in Russia. Presently, 65% of the production is done in India and the rest 35% is done in Russia and imports to India.


  • It is based on Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other Russian missile technology
  • The technical name of BrahMos is PJ-10
  • It is a ramjet supersonic cruise missile which can be launched from a submarine, ships, aircraft a and land vehicles
  • The major variants are:
  1. Air-launched missile
  2. Anti-ship missile
  3. Land-attack missile
  4. Surface-to-surface missile
  5. Submarine-launched
  • It travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0 which means around 3 times faster than the speed of sound
  • The maximum range is 450 kilometres but the operational range is 300 kilometres
  • The warhead contains 200 kg of semi-armour-piercing
  • It can fly in an altitude as low as 5 metres and as high as 14000 metres from the ground
  • It is equipped with stealth technology designed to make it less visible on most of the radars
  • It uses Inertial Navigation System (INS) to use against ship targets and Global Positioning System (GPS) against land targets
  • It has pinpoint accuracy to hit targets with 1m circular error probable
  • It is also known as “Bharat ka Brahmaasthra”


  • After initial development, the successful launch of BrahMos took place on 12 June 2001using its land-based launcher at the Test Range off the Chandipur coast in Odisha
  • BrahMos was inducted for the first time into the global market by Russia at the MAKS-1 exhibition in Moscow held on 2001
  • BrahMos was first inducted to Indian defence service in 2006
  • On 5 September 2010, test firing BrahMos created a world record for being the first cruise missile to operate in supersonic speeds in a steep-dive mode
  • On July 16 2018, BrahMos was successfully test fired under extreme conditions at integrated test range, Chandipur, Odisha


  • Several countries including Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines, South Africa and Vietnam have shown their interest in the BrahMos missile
  • Since most of these countries have Russian made fighter jets which can enable BrahMos missile, purchasing BrahMos by these countries is under consideration
  • It is expected that India could generate income of nearly $12 billion by selling BrahMos in the near future


  • With the grand success of BrahMos-1, the government is planning to design and develop BrahMos-2 which will be a hypersonic cruise missile
  • BrahMos-2 is expected to have a maximum range of 600 kilometres but will be limited to 290 kilometres due to the regulations laid by Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which prohibits countries to develop missiles with a range beyond 300 kilometres. Both Russia and India are a part of this agreement
  • Even if the range is limited, the speed is doubled. BrahMos-2 is expected to have a top speed of Mach 7
  • BrahMos-2 is expected to be ready for test fire by 2020
  • Boomerang version of BrahMos missiles are also under development
  • India also promised to develop most advanced BrahMos-3 missiles in the near future for Russia. With that movement, India will be a superpower in the missile technology


India is planning to invest more in the research and development of BrahMos. It is expected that selling BrahMos in the global market will help India to generate an income of about $12 billion annually. India will be one of the best missile technology occupied country in the world in near future.

This is what you should do after clearing your AFCAT Exams!