The adventure of Brahmos cruise missiles

Brahmos cruise missile

An event that happened in the past sometimes changes the future of the world in an unexpected way. Many such incidents have been recorded in the history books. A similar phenomenon has been demonstrated. The incident dates back to World War II when the Japanese army roared in Asia.

Atomic bombing on Hiroshima
Atomic bombing on Hiroshima

As a last resort, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when the Japanese army was not stopped by a cameo. A terrifying explosion shaking the direction of Hiroshima put millions of residents to sleep forever.

Visionary leader of Brahmos cruise missiles Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Many know that India’s missile program was run under the leadership of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. On the other hand, very few people are aware of the fact that our missile program started almost three decades before Dr. Kalam started his career as India’s Missile Man. Name of the program – Special Weapon Development, 1958 and name of the political leader who started the program – Jawaharlal Nehru.

Dr daulat singh kothari
Dr. Daulat singh kothari

Dr. Daulat Singh Kothari, a 42-year-old scientist, was given a special weapon program by Pandit Nehru. Everything from the materials used to make the missile to the fuel had to be erected in the backyard. Hence Dr. Daulat Singh Kothari formed a team by selecting experts in aeronautics, electronics, chemistry, physics, mathematics, metallurgy, etc. from all over the country. The 19th-century building, called the Metcalfe House in Delhi, was converted into a special weapons program office cum factory.

After spending four years in research and development, it became the first indigenous anti-tank missile and was successful. Although the missile hit the target 14 times out of a total of 16 tests. For some reason, it did not come to the notice of the Indian Army and it was time to close the program after seven years.

Years passed. The political reins of India were now in the hands of Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Pandit Nehru. Under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), he undertook a mega-project in 1983 to develop surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and surface-to-air missiles. Engineer Dr. Abdul Kalam was made the facilitator of IGMDP and his hardworking colleagues were so horrifying day and night that in 1988 they developed a missile called ‘Prithvi’. The Agni missile was tested the following year. India’s Integrated Missile Development Project was progressing well. But then America, Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Italy came together to put the bones in the incinerator. Materials required for missiles, electrical circuits, other spare parts, fuel, etc., made them a political ploy to prevent India from getting them on an import basis. Our program, which relies heavily on imported technology, has stalled.

Prithvi missile
Prithvi missile
Agni missile
Agni missile

Nothing! Where did even our diligent engineers get late? He decided to build all the technology needed to advance the missile program on an indigenous basis. Fortunately, countries like the US and Britain have imposed sanctions to thwart India’s program. The incident was a turning point for us as it opened up new avenues for missile development that would take us to the BrahMos cruise missile.

We had a successful start in the direction of cruise missiles as early as 1998, but the milestone for that happened in 1991. A Gulf War broke out that year between the United States and Iraq. The United States used cruise missiles called “Tomahawk” in that war to destroy Iraqi targets such as fuel depots, military bases, radar stations, food stores, bridges, etc.

Tomahawk cruise missile
Tomahawk cruise missile

 Cruise missiles are a little different and somewhere more sophisticated than conventional missiles. For example, ordinary missiles have to show a target and even after doing so, they may retreat slightly in hitting the target. Cruise missiles, on the other hand, know how to detect and destroy their own targets. The missile ‘reads’ the map pre-fitted into the computer and keeps moving. Read mountains, rivers, small plains, paved roads, etc., and compare them with a digital map of one’s own memory. The work goes on several times a second so the cruise missile sticks to the right path accordingly. There is no question of making a mistake.

Another feature of the cruise missile is that it always moves forward on the ground. Maintains a constant level of only 200 feet above the surface. With the help of a radar altimeter, it is constantly increasing or decreasing its height according to the earth’s crust. Just being at an altitude of 200 feet, the enemy’s radar could not detect the cruise missiles.


In the 1991 Gulf War, the United States fired about six Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraq, hitting 282 targets. Seeing such a huge number of successes, the world’s attention was drawn to cruise missiles. India also plans to develop an integrated missile development program. Russia has extended a hand of partnership to Indian engineers who have previously been trained to make weapons such as ‘The Agni missile’, ‘Prithvi missile’, ‘Trishul missile’, ‘Nag missile’ and ‘Akash missile’.

Akash missile
Akash missile
Nag missile
Nag missile | Image source- India successfully tests anti-tank guided missile Nag, ready for induction in Army

Russia had two main calculations in its friendship with India: (1) Russian arms were not especially sold in the international market at that time. Russia felt that if a country like India was a partner, the proposed cruise missile could get a response in the international market. (2) In Missile Technology, India has Dr. Abdul Kalam, Dr. Sudhir Kumar Mishra, Dr. A. S. Pillai, and Dr. P. Venugopal like hardened rocket scientists. Who knows if our politicians are dazzled by the luster of these diamonds, but Russia recognized it all from thousands of kilometers away.

The proposed cruise missile agreement was signed between India and Russia on February 18, 19. A company called Brahmos Aerospace was formed with a joint investment of twenty-five million dollars. The name of the proposed emissary was chosen ‘Brahmos’ which was inspired by the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva rivers of Russia. According to the agreement, the work of the electronic circuit of ‘Brahmos cruise missiles’ and its programming was done by India. Therefore, young men and women from the National Institute of Technology were selected to carry it out.

Brahmos cruise missiles scientist

After giving eleven months of training to all under the guidance of Dr. Abdul Kalam, Dr. Sudhir Kumar Mishra, Dr. A. S. Pillai, and Dr. P. Venugopal, they were assigned the responsibility of the department. With the urge to do something for the country, all the young men and women were so horrified in their work that in June 2001, they even prepared the first Brahmos cruise missiles.

On June 15, 2001, ‘Brahmos cruise missiles’ was spotted from Chandipur in Orissa. The blue sky lit up the smoky ray, which was in fact a new breed in the field of amygdala technology. When it crashed at an incredible speed of 2,500 km per hour, the world’s other missiles proved to be a turtle speed against its speed. A comparison: America’s ‘Tomahawk’ cruise missile was moving at a speed of only 200 kilometers per hour.

Brahmos cruise missiles at chandipur odisha
Brahmos missile at chandipur, Odisha | Source- Deccan herald

In the twenty-one years from June 2001 to June 207, BrahMos has undergone gradual technological evolution. Today, a total of four unique versions have been made. The Brahmos cruise missile, which can be fired from the ground through a launcher lorry, can reach a target of up to 200 km. Although the missile weighs only 200 kilograms, it is highly explosive, causing seven to eight rounds of Bofors cannon.

Brahmos cruise missiles_fired_from_INS_Chennai_during_TROPEX_2017
BrahMos fired from INS Chennai during TROPEX 2017

Today, a large number of naval warships are equipped with BrahMos cruise missiles. Even our submarines floating below the surface of the sea can strike ‘Brahmos’ out of the water. The BrahMos cruise missiles, which are about 5 meters long and weigh 2,500 to 5,000 kilograms, can reach enemy warships up to 200 kilometers away. Brahmos cruise missiles first ascend thousands of meters in the sky to find a ship across the horizon and find out its direction, and after the target appears, descends to a low level of five to ten meters at a speed of 2,500 kilometers per hour. When flying at this shallow level, the radar of the enemy ship cannot see it. There is no time to resist when the arrival is announced at the last minute. It is impossible to show the ‘Brahmos cruise missiles, which are rushing at 4,500 km per hour, piercing the sky. 

Sukhoi-30 with brahmos cruise missiles
Sukhoi-30 with Brahmos cruise missile | Source-

The BrahMos cruise missiles are off-wing under the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30 aircraft. The major advantage of using a cruise missile with a range of 400 km is that 100 to 200 crore fighter jets do not need to travel in the dangerous skies of the enemy. Without crossing the border, he can hit the target in the enemy’s inner territory with Brahmos cruise missiles. Many countries of the world are interested in ‘Brahmos’ due to its immense speed, self-propelled cruise capability to find the target and reach it on its own, accuracy in piercing the target, and long-range of strikes and water, space, and air. A few times ago, Affilipinus also struck a deal with us for ‘Brahmos’ worth around 365 million. Countries like Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia are also showing interest in BrahMos cruise missiles.

Brahmos cruise missiles 1
Brahmos cruise missile 

India did not reach this destination overnight. On the contrary, since 1957, there has been a relentless struggle behind it. The phrase ‘work so quietly that success makes noise’ has been made meaningful by our scientists and engineers.

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