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India successfully test-fires new Brahmos cruise missile

INDIA today successfully test-fired the new version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile ata firing range near Pokhran in Rajasthan desert, Western India, said Indian defense ministry sources.

The Brahmos, an Ind-Russian joint venture and tactical supersonic cruise missile, may play a definitive role in cross-border "surgical strike" against terrorists, as precision strike weapons, according to Indian defense officials.

This test took place six weeks after India failed in the test on Jan. 20 when the launch of the missile deviated from its course mid-way, thereby failing to hit the target, which Indian officials claimed was due to a glitch in software.

"The 290-kilometer-range Block II Brahmos missile was successfully test-fired today morning. It took a little over two minutes to hit its target in Pokhran," a senior Indian Defence Ministry official told the media.

India has developed the missile, with technical collaboration from Russia, for its Army, which began to be equipped with the land-fired version of the Brahmos since June 2007.

The missile's each battery is equipped with four mobile launchers mounted at military trucks.

The anti-ship naval version of Brahmos has also been put into service on Indian Navy's destroyer.

Constructed under the Indian-Russian Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd established in 1998, the missile takes its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers. It can hit targets as far as 300 kilometers away with 300 kilograms of conventional warhead.


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