India’s first hypersonic cruise missile, BrahMos-II will be named after late president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
“Kalam is the reason we are standing on the threshold of a new era of hypersonic weapons. That’s why BrahMos-II is being named after him,” BrahMos CEO & MD Sudhir Kumar Mishra was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The current BrahMos missile is capable of taking out hardened targets such as underground bunkers and weapon storage facilities at seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7), BrahMos-II (K) is being developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace. The 'K' in it is for Kalam, the man who fired India’s missile and nuclear program, the news daily reported last Friday.
Kalam, during his last visit to BrahMos Aerospace headquarters in Delhi last month had asked BrahMos Aerospace to speed up the development on hypersonic weapons technology and help the nation field an operational missile in three to five years.
The existing BrahMos missile provides India the capability to hit targets 290 km away at nearly three times the speed of sound. It's the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile.
"We have a two-pronged approach to exploit the hypersonic realm - upgrading the existing BrahMos engine to achieve Mach 5+ speed in three to five years and simultaneously working on a pure hypersonic engine to breach Mach 7 in five-seven years," Mishra told HT.