The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by the Prime Minister has cleared INR 4300 crore (US $644 million) contract for the Army to induct and deploy fourth BrahMos regiment in the northeast as a deterrent against China.
A regiment consists of around 100 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12x12 heavy-duty trucks and a mobile command post, among other hardware and software, Times of India reported quoted an unnamed source as saying Wednesday.
From 2007 onwards, the Army has progressively inducted three regiments of BrahMos with largely Block-I and II missiles developed to hit a specific small target with a low radar cross-section in a cluttered environment, TOI reported.
The missile's Block-III "steep-dive" version will now be deployed in Arunachal Pradesh to counter China's military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control. Flying at a velocity almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8, the missiles also have "a combined high-low trajectory" to evade enemy defence systems.
"This BrahMos variant can take a steep dive up to 75 degrees. Defence scientists are already working on achieving a 90-degree steep-dive capability, which in the future can lead to acquiring an aircraft carrier-killing capability," said a source.
The latest Rs 4,300 crore contract takes the overall orders placed for the BrahMos missiles to over Rs 31,000 crore (US $4.6 billion). The Navy has already installed the missile on 10 frontline warships, including the latest stealth destroyers and frigates.
BrahMos chief Sudhir Mishra had earlier told TOI that the plan was to begin testing the missile from Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets this year. The air-launched version of BrahMos, which at 2.5 tonnes is lighter than the 3-tonne land and sea variants, has already undergone "carriage trials" on a Sukhoi in June. The "missile separation trials" are likely to take place later this month.