BrahMos-NG – All Updates About BrahMos Next Generation
Two full-scale models of BRAHMOS-NG – the futuristic smaller, sleeker, smarter and stealthier version of existing BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system – fitted on India’s indigenously developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) are being showcased for the first time at India’s premier air show, Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru.
BrahMos Aerospace, the India-Russia JV entity designing, developing and producing of the universal BRAHMOS Weapon System, plans to develop the new miniature version of the missile which could arm a wider number of modern military platforms, including sea and air.
Two BRAHMOS-NG (the ‘NG’ stands for ‘Next Generation’) missile systems having smaller size and reduced weight could be fitted on India’s LCA Tejas fighter.
The BrahMos-NG, has been envisioned as a more versatile, highly precise, lethal, flexible, multi-platform, multi-target, lighter missile system. With the same specification of range (290 km) and a speed of around 3 Mach,BrahMos-NG is 50 percent lighter and three meters shorter than its predecessor. BrahMos-NG will have lesser RCS (radar cross section) compared to its predecessor, making it harder for air defense systems to locate and engage the target. BrahMos-NG will have Land, Air, ship-borne and Submarine tube-launched variants. Initially Brahmos-NG was called as Brahmos-M.Additionally, the BrahMos-NG will have an AESA radar rather than the mechanically scanned one on the PJ-10.
The missile will arm the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Mikoyan MiG-29K, HAL Tejas and future inductions such as the Dassault Rafale, HAL FGFA and possibly the Mikoyan MiG-35. Submarine launched variant will be capable of being fired from the new P75I class of submarines.The Sukhoi SU-30MKI would carry three missiles while other combat aircraft would carry one each.
The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has been developed under a joint venture between India and Russia. It has sea-to-land, sea-to-sea, land-to-land, land-to-sea and subsea-to-land launch capabilities. The BrahMos has a strike range of 290 km and the BrahMos NG will also be of the same range. The maximum speed will also be the same – Mach 3.
Currently, the only aircraft which can carry the BrahMos missile is the Sukhoi SU-30MKI whose maximum takeoff capacity is 40 tonnes. Other aircraft believed to be capable of carrying the missile are the Dassault Rafale and MiG 29K. The BrahMos is a highly advanced, precise and lethal cruise missile. It can be launched from multiple platforms like land, sea and air.
“The BrahMos NG assumes significance as it will be capable of being launched from all platforms like air, water and sea. It will be compatible for launches through ground launch vehicles, destroyers and other naval attack vessels, torpedo tubes in submarines and air launch as well.
The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI jet is capable of carrying one BrahMos missile under its fuselage but once the newer version is ready, the twin-engine multirole air superiority fighter will be configured to carry five such cruise missiles, one under the fuselage and two each under its wings. Even the indigenous supersonic LCA Tejas Mk 2 will be configured to carry two BrahMos missiles under its wings.
The weight of the missile will be slashed from 3000 kg to around 1600 kg. The Brahmos NG will also be 3 metre shorter than the 9-metre long BrahMos. The NG variant will have advanced capabilities including electronic countermeasures and stealth.According to sources, LCA and Mig 29K will carry 2 brahmos NG.SU30mki will carry 5 brahmos NG. That means too much firepower .
“The NG variant is going to have advanced stealth capabilities and will also be capable of beating shake-off capabilities with electronic counter-countermeasures. We wish to build a weapon that is effective, and which draws interest from buyers as well. This venture has created a large ecosystem in the defence manufacturing. Over 200 firms, government run or private, are involved in producing this masterpiece. The in-house development and manufacturing also means that maintenance, spares and others issues are minimised. BrahMos project is very important to Make-in-India mission and that has been communicated to us very clearly. The ministry is willing to sell the BrahMos missiles and is trying to find buyers for it. We have kicked into the next gear on the new generation variant,” the source said.
BrahMos Aerospace Limited is also developing BrahMos-II, the second generation of the series which will have hypersonic cruise speed upto Mach 7, besides a miniature version of the missile.
Another advantage of the new version is that it will cost only half as much as the existing model. Being light-weight, the BrahMos NG will also be easier to adjust according to the weight carrying limitation of the LCA Tejas.
The new BraMos NG missile will provide the IAF teeth to particularly target enemy AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control System), refuelling and transport aircraft. The NG version will also be capable of being fitted on to submarines and torpedo tubes.