With such a weapon as dangerous as BrahMos missile, it is clear that the sale to Southeast Asian nations is sure to upset Beijing.

With a range of more than 300 km, the supersonic BrahMos missile has attracted the attention of several Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, philippines, and Indonesia.

In September 2020, the Indian army deployed Brahmos cruise missiles with a range of 450 km and Nirbhay cruise missiles with a range of 800 km to the Ladakh region. Also in November 2020, Indian media reported that the country had begun testing BrahMos hypersonic cruise missiles, aiming to demonstrate the ability to accurately strike amid military tensions with China in the Ladakh region. Despite war concerns, but it still seems highly unlikely that the two most populous nations in the world would resort to all-out war and destroy both of their economies over this issue.

BrahMos missile
BrahMos missile

According to Nationalinterest author Sebastien Roblin in “Why China Fears India’s BrahMos Missiles”, concerns about missiles between India and China are growing. “India deploying supersonic missiles on the border has exceeded its own needs for self-defense and poses a serious threat to China’s Tibet and Yunnan provinces,” complained the People’s Liberation Army Daily. “The deployment of BrahMos missile is bound to increase the competition and antagonism in the China–India relations and will have a negative impact on the stability of the region.” On the Indian side, of course, they deny these Chinese allegations.

The BrahMos weighs twice as much as a Tomahawk, at six thousand pounds. The combination of twice the weight and four times greater speed as a Tomahawk result in vastly more kinetic energy when striking the target. Despite having a smaller warhead, the effects on impact are devastating.

Even more importantly, the BrahMos’s ability to maintain supersonic speeds while skimming at low altitude makes it very difficult to detect and intercept. To cap it off, the BrahMos performs an evasive “S-maneuver” shortly before impact, making it difficult to shoot down at close range.

If the attack is launched within 120 kilometers of the target, it can skim at very low altitude the entire way to the target. While missiles can be detected earlier if benefiting from AWACs aircraft, a ship would likely detect a sea-skimming missile at range of only thirty kilometers, affording the vessel only a thirty second time window to respond.


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