Rocket "Bramos" in the basic version and its aviation BrahMos-A variant has high characteristics that allow you to effectively perform assigned combat missions. However, these products have a characteristic feature that interferes with a further increase in the flexibility of their use. The BrahMos and BrahMos-A missiles have a length of 8,4 m, and their starting weight reaches 3 and 2,5 tons, respectively. Thus, even heavy Su-30MKI multi-role fighters can carry only one Bramos-A missile, which does not significantly increase their strike power. In addition, a potential customer in the person of the Indian Navy wants to get an anti-ship missile, which could be launched using torpedo tubes of submarines.
The first information about the possible beginning of the development of the small-sized version of the Bramos missile appeared a few years ago, but until a certain time such information was at the level of rumors and assumptions. Only in February, 2014, a full-fledged confirmation of the existence of such a project appeared. During the last year’s exhibition DefExpo-2014, a joint Russian-Indian venture showed for the first time a model of a promising BrahMos-M rocket. Also soon appeared the designation BrahMos-Mini.
As follows from the available information, the Bramos-M rocket is planned to be made on the basis of the base product of the family with extensive use of developments on it. At the same time, the main goal of the new project is to reduce the size and ease the construction as much as possible. The starting weight of a reduced rocket should not exceed 1,5-2 t. Thanks to this, the Su-30MKI will be able to carry three anti-ship missiles, and MiG-29K / KUB planes and the prospective FGFA - two each.
Last spring, a joint venture BrahMos Aerospace showed the BrahMos-M rocket model at the Malaysian DSA-2014 exhibition. Then curious statements were made about the future of the project. In particular, it was argued that a smaller version of the Bramos product would be in high demand in the international arms market. The reason for such assumptions was the low mass of the rocket in combination with the high efficiency of the onboard equipment.
As far as we know, at present, Russian and Indian experts continue to discuss a number of important topics and are engaged in shaping the appearance of a promising small-sized rocket. A few weeks ago, in mid-February, it was reported that an agreement on the development of the BrahMos-M project would be signed this summer. At the same time some details of the new development are already known.
The layout of the BrahMos-M small-sized anti-ship missile displayed at trade shows clearly shows that this product should be a smaller version of the Brahmos base product with some minor modifications. The new rocket must retain the main features of its predecessor, as well as use its components and assemblies. So it is planned to facilitate and accelerate the design work, as well as reduce the cost of mass-produced missiles.
The BrahMos-M rocket will have a total length of the order of 6 m with a case diameter of about 50 cm. The rocket must retain a cylindrical body with an ogival head and a front air intake with a conical central body. A folding wing should be in the middle of the hull, stabilizers and steering wheels of similar design should be in the middle and tail. Except for the dimensions, the externally reduced rocket will differ from the basic one only in the wing design: “classical” instead of the X-shaped one.
The starting weight of the Bramos-M rocket should not exceed 1500-2000 kg. At the same time she will be able to carry a warhead weighing up to 300 kg. The BrahMos base rocket is launched using a solid-fuel engine located in the rear section of the hull, inside the sustainer nozzle. After the fuel has been developed, the starting engine is reset, and the automation includes a direct-flow, Russian-designed 3D55 engine. Probably, a smaller version of the rocket will receive a similar power plant using a solid-fuel starting and direct-flow sustainer engines.
It was reported that the reduction in size will affect the fuel supply, but will not affect the range. It is assumed that BrahMos-M will be able to hit targets at a distance of 300 km. At the same time, reducing the size and weight will increase the maximum flight speed to M = 3,5.
Like the base rocket family, the new BrahMos-M is likely to be able to be used with various carriers. First of all, they will be various aircraft of the Indian Air Force, from the existing Su-30MKI and MiG-29K / KUB to promising FGFA. Airplanes of various types, according to calculations, will be able to carry up to two or three missiles. It is possible to create a launcher with multiple transport and launch containers for vertical launch. Finally, the hull diameter of the order of 0,5 m allows you to create a modification of the rocket for use as a weapon of submarines with 533-mm torpedo tubes.
From the available information it follows that the BrahMos-M project is currently in its very early stages. Full development promising missiles launched last year. In 2015, it is planned to sign a new agreement on the development of a promising rocket. The design, testing and other processes should take several years. The first trial launch is scheduled for 2017 of the year. Thus, the new BrahMos-M missiles will be able to enter service only by the end of this decade.
At present, the military of the leading countries of the world are showing interest in promising percussion tools based on hypersonic technology. Rockets capable of speeds that are 5-7 times the speed of sound should be unique weapons with the highest combat potential. For this reason, over the past few decades, scientists from a number of countries have been actively exploring a promising direction and even building experimental hypersonic devices.
In 2008, the management of BrahMos Aerospace decided to start work on the promising project of the Brahmos hypersonic rocket family. According to the original plans, the creation of the BrahMos II project should have taken about five years. Already in 2009, the tests of the HSTDV experimental apparatus were to begin. However, the project schedule subsequently underwent dramatic changes. For obvious reasons, most of the information about the Bramos-2 project is not yet available to the general public. In particular, it is not known on the basis of what developments the project will be developed. It cannot be ruled out that it will use some technologies and technical solutions borrowed from Soviet and Russian projects of hypersonic systems.
In February, the 2013 of the year at the DefExpo-2013 exhibition for the first time showed a large-scale mockup of the promising hypersonic BrahMos II rocket. The finished rocket of the new model can seriously differ from the shown layout, however, in this case the exhibit is of great interest. The model of a promising rocket allows you to understand how and in what direction the work on its development goes. In addition, it allows you to build other assumptions about the appearance of the new development and its possible characteristics.
The model shown at the exhibition had a characteristic shape peculiar to experimental hypersonic aircraft of recent years. The outer contours of the layout are formed by several straight panels, mated at different angles. The nose part of the body has a characteristic elongated shape and a triangular profile. Apparently, on the bottom of the nose of the rocket should be the air intake of a ramjet jet engine. The middle part has the shape of a parallelepiped. On its surface there are two pairs of planes. The tail part of the layout is cylindrical, with an X-shaped stabilizer. Rectangular and cylindrical units are connected with a complex-shaped part.
The appearance of the BrahMos II rocket model suggests that this product will be built on a two-stage scheme. In this case, in the tail section of the cylindrical compartment there should be a liquid or solid fuel accelerating engine responsible for the supersonic speed set. After reaching the specified speed, the first stage should be separated, and the “faceted” second stage will be responsible for delivering the warhead to the target. However, it is impossible to exclude other options for the layout and use of the rocket.
The BrahMos II rocket will have to get a hypersonic ramjet jet engine, which will allow speeds of the order of M = 5-7. It is about such characteristics repeatedly mentioned earlier. Estimated flight range is still unknown. Other features of the promising missile, including the parameters of the warhead, the type of control system, etc. remain secret (or have not yet been determined).
Back in 2008, it was claimed that the promising Bramos-2 rocket would be used with various carriers. It was supposed to develop missile systems for installation on ships and submarines, land platforms and aircraft. Thus, in the new project of the hypersonic shock system it was proposed to use an approach similar to the basic project of the family. Whether such plans will be fulfilled is still unknown. Nevertheless, the possible difficulties in their implementation are not connected with possible carriers, but with the complexity of creating a hypersonic anti-ship missile.
In February, 2015 was announced the approximate timing of the project. Preliminary research is underway. The development of the project can take up to 8-10 years. Thus, the promising hypersonic BrahMos II rocket can be put into service no earlier than 2023-25. However, one cannot exclude a less optimistic scenario, in which the intrinsic complexity of a hypersonic subject matter will lead to a noticeable shift in the timing.
Projects of the BrahMos family of missiles are developed primarily in the interests of the armed forces of India. Armed forces of Russia have not yet expressed a desire to purchase such weaponAlthough such proposals sound with enviable regularity. For example, the Bramos missile version of the ship is offered as a means of increasing the firepower of the Navy ships, while the small-sized BrahMos-M is called a promising naval aviation weapon. However, so far BrahMos missiles are being assembled only for India, since Russia has its own developments of the necessary classes.
The situation may change with the advent of the project BrahMos II. Russia and India, as well as many other countries, do not yet have anti-ship missiles capable of developing hypersonic speed. Thus, the development of the Bramos-2 project may be of great interest not only for India, but also for Russia, as well as for many potential foreign buyers of modern weapons. Nevertheless, there is information according to which the Russian military do not need new joint development. At present, a promising anti-ship Zircon rocket is being created in our country, capable of developing speeds of at least M = 4,5-5. Taking into account the odds in time, the Zircon product can be put into service a few years earlier than the Bramos-2 rocket.
Regardless of the prospects of a project, the BrahMos family of missiles is of great interest from the point of view of international cooperation in the military-technical sphere. Together, Russia and India are developing new anti-ship missiles for the Indian armed forces, as well as, possibly, for future export deliveries. Therefore, each news On this topic attracts a lot of attention of specialists and interested public.
On the materials of the sites: