A game changer?
Meet India's BrahMos II: The World's Fastest Supersonic Cruise Missile?
With the BrahMos II venture put on indefinite hold, the Indian military is forging ahead with new, long-range and deep-dive versions of their BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
Earlier this week, BrahMos CEO Sudhir Kumar Mishra announced that vertical deep-dive and 500 kilometer-range BrahMos variants are ready to enter India’s missile arsenal: "India has successfully test-fired a vertical deep dive version of BrahMos, the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, that can now change the dynamics of conventional warfare...the upgraded version of the missile with enhanced range of up to 500 km is also ready.” Both of these new variants will feature the Mach 2.8 speed of the original BrahMos missile, roughly three times the speed of sound.
As the name implies, vertical deep-capability allows the missile to be fired at a “near-vertical” trajectory of 90 degree, climbing fourteen 14 kilometers before making making a steep dive toward its target. Mishra asserts that this will make BrahMos more effective on mountainous terrain and against bunkers as well as large surface vessels, suggesting that these improvements are aimed at bolstering Indian missile strike capability vis-à-vis China amid ongoing tensions over the Tibet region.