OCT 20

Preliminary   > Science and Technology   >   Defence technology   >   Basics of defence technology

Why in news?

  • A naval version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from an indigenously built stealth destroyer of the Indian Navy in the Arabian Sea

About the BrahMos missile:

  • BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
  • It has two stages - First stage comprising of a solid fuel rocket booster and a second stage comprising a liquid-fueled ramjet.

Range and capabilities:

  • The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0, which is being upgraded to Mach 5.0.
  • A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability.
  • The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead.
  • It originally had a range of 290 km which is now being extended to 400 km after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime.


  • BrahMos is a joint venture between the Russia and India's DRDO.
  • The name BrahMos comes from the two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

Cruise missile v/s Ballistic Missile

  • A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed.
  • Ballistic missiles are rocket-propelled self-guided strategic-weapons system that follows a ballistic trajectory(highly arched trajectory) to deliver a payload from its launch site to a predetermined target.
    • Though initially powered and guided they finally falls under gravity on to its target.
  • Ballistic missiles that fly above the atmosphere have a much longer range than would be possible for cruise missiles of the same size.
  • Ballistic missiles can travel extremely quickly along their flight path.
    • With terminal speeds of over 5,000 m/s, ballistic missiles are much harder to intercept than cruise missiles
  • However cruise missiles are cheaper, more mobile, and more versatile.


Consider the following statements regarding “BrahMos” Missile :
1.BrahMos is a joint venture between the Russia and India's DRDO.
2.It is a long range missile with a range of 1500 kilometers.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a)1 only
(b)2 only
(c)Both 1 and 2 
(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to prelims question