India Joins Select Group After BrahMos Launch

Amidst growing tensions with China, India today test fired one of its powerful weapons – the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

New Delhi: Amidst growing tensions with China, India today test fired one of its powerful weapons – The BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile.

“Land attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was fired for the first time from an Indian Navy’s stealth frigate, off the eastern coast, at a land target,” senior officials of the Ministry of Defense said.

“So far, only anti-ship version of BrahMos had been fired by Indian Navy,” he added.

This puts India in a select club of nations with such capability.

Though the Defense sources maintained that the test was part of regular exercise, the timing is definitely important after China’s aggressive moves of late.

The land-attack version of BrahMos has been operational in the Indian Army since 2007.

The BrahMos missile, with a range of 290 km and a Mach 2.8 speed, is capable of being launched from land, sea and sub-sea pads against sea and land targets.

BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, is considered to be the only supersonic cruise missile in the world. The missile was first inducted in the India Navy in 2005.

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“Against Peace,” says China on BrahMos deployment

China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India could put more efforts into regional peace and stability rather than the opposite, in response to Indian plans to put advanced cruise missiles along the disputed border with China.

Leaders of Asia’s two giants pledged last year to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though the disagreement remains unresolved.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

India is also suspicious of China’s support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.

Modi’s government has ordered BrahMos Aerospace, which produces the missiles, to accelerate sales to a list of five countries topped by Vietnam, according to a government note viewed by Reuters and previously unreported.

Modi visits Vietnam, which is embroiled in a dispute over the South China Sea with Beijing, before arriving in China.

Prime Minister  Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits China next month to attend the G20 summit.

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