Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Military

India First To Build a Supersonic Cruise Missile 319

Posted by timothy
from the please-don't-lose-the-key dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "India successfully tested Sunday a 'maneuverable' version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which it has jointly developed with Russia, news reports said. The vertical-launch version of the 290-kilometer range BrahMos was tested from a warship in the Bay of Bengal off India's eastern coast, the PTI news agency reported. 'The vertical-launch version of missile was launched at 11:30 (0600 GMT) hours today from Indian Navy ship INS Ranvir and it manoeuvred successfully hitting the target ship. It was a perfect hit and a perfect mission,' BrahMos aerospace chief A Sivathanu Pillai was quoted as saying. 'After today's test, India has become the first and only country in the world to have a manoeuvrable supersonic cruise missile in its inventory,' Pillai said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

India First To Build a Supersonic Cruise Missile

Comments Filter:
  • Really? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mike Rice (626857) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:40PM (#31559920)

    The first?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Nmonic (548455)
      Not really. A Quick check of Wiki shows that India is definitely not the first or only to have a supersonic cruise missile. This is just India's first... not a world first.
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:58PM (#31560096)

        The summary (and article) are better than the headline. This isn't either: a) the first supersonic cruise missile; or b) the first maneuverable cruise missile. But it is, apparently, the first maneuverable supersonic cruise missile.

        • by melted (227442) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @05:11PM (#31560740) Homepage

          It's not the first maneuverable supersonic CM either. Russian P-500 Bazalt missile was both supersonic and maneuverable and it entered service in 1973 (!). Brahmos is an adaptation of previous generation Russian missile technology, and not even the most advanced variant of that. Russians don't export their latest stuff, particularly the kind of stuff that if push came to shove could be efficiently used against them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mike Rice (626857)

          The whole point of a 'Cruise Missile', is that it maneuvers... i.e it is not 'Ballistic'

          I believe there were at least 14 models of Cruise Missiles before this that were SuperSonic.

          Mod me 'redundant' again, and again...

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:04PM (#31560142)
      Tech Support: Thank you for calling Maneuverable Supersonic Cruise Missile tech support, my name is Tom, how may I help you?
      Missile Owner: Hello. My maneuverable supersonic cruise missile isn't the first.
      Tech Support: I do apologize for this inconvenience. Am I correct to understand that your maneuverable supersonic cruise missile is not the first?
      Missile Owner: Uh, yeah. I was told it would be the first.
      Tech Support: I do apologize. Have you tried flashing the BIOS?
      Missile Owner: WTF?
  • Surprise! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SEWilco (27983) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:45PM (#31559974) Journal
    I didn't hear that coming.
    • by mikael (484)

      [Flash of light and mushroom cloud] ....

    • by EdIII (1114411) *

      I barely felt mine coming before it was too late. Of course my version of the Indian Supersonic Cruise Missile involved some very spicy beef curry and rice....

  • Misleading headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:46PM (#31559978)

    Possibly first to deploy, but not the first to build [astronautix.com], by a good 50 years.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:50PM (#31560024) Journal

    ...Soviets had supersonic air to surface cruise missiles and surface to surface missiles. It's where the Indian tech comes from. Kitchen and Sunburn were the ones that spring to mind immediately.

  • by category_five (814174) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:50PM (#31560026)
    The headline says, "India First To Build a Supersonic Cruise Missile". In order to even accurately reflect the article, it should read, "India First To Build a manoeuvrable Supersonic Cruise Missile". But even so, the article is wrong;

    from wikipedia, P-500 Bazalt

    The P-500 Bazalt (Russian: -500 ; English: basalt) is a liquid-fueled, rocket powered, supersonic cruise missile used by the Soviet and Russian navies. Developed by OKB-52 MAP (later NPO Mashinostroyeniye), its GRAU designation is 4K80[1]. Its NATO reporting name is SS-N-12 Sandbox. It entered service in 1973 to replace the SS-N-3 Shaddock. The P-500 Bazalt had a 550 km range and a payload of 1,000 kg, which allows it to carry a 350 kT nuclear or a 950 kg semi-armor-piercing high explosive warhead (currently only the conventional version remains in service). The P-500 Bazalt uses active radar homing for terminal guidance, and can receive mid-course corrections by the Tupolev Tu-95D, the Kamov Ka-25B and the Kamov Ka-27B.

    So many levels of fail in this submission
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Not to mention the fact that cruise missiles are by definition maneuverable.
      • by Sique (173459)

        No. The ones used by the Germans in WWII weren't.

        • Well, there we can go into technical sophistry about what actually is meant by "maneuverable". The V1 had an autopilot coupled to a gyrocompass system. In my opinion, that counts as maneuverable. Of course, not external correctional inputs were possible with that system, which might be considered the true definition of maneuverable.
          • by rotide (1015173)
            To me, anything that doesn't follow a ballistic trajectory would have to be considered maneuverable. I mean, if it can avoid an obstacle or follow a flight plan.. it's maneuverable.
      • by vlm (69642)

        A mass produced 350 KT V-1 from the mid 1940s would have been a quite effective strategic weapon. A modern version would probably work pretty well too.

        The definition game is probably best played by flight profile as opposed to navigation systems, in which case an ancient german V-1 would qualify.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:27PM (#31560364)

      I'm an aerospace engineer...in our jargon, a course correction compensates for drift, so we are talking about correcting for very low angular rates that come about because of gyro drift, winds aloft, etc. The engineers who designed the P-500 for course correction likely used small angle approximations (cos(theta) = 1, sin(theta)=theta -- first term from a Taylor series expension) because the correction values for theta were very small.

      A maneuver is a large deviation from the initial flight path, where theta (flight path angle deviation) is large enough that the first order Taylor series approximation does not work. What this means is that your controller becomes highly nonlinear, and requires significantly greater amounts of computing power.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tftp (111690)

        A maneuver is a large deviation from the initial flight path

        Ok, does the P-700 [wikipedia.org] qualify then?

        The missile, when fired in a swarm (group of 4-8) has a unique guidance mode. One of the weapons climbs to a higher altitude and designates targets while the others attack. The missile responsible for target designation climbs in short pop-ups, so as to be harder to intercept. The missiles are linked by data connections, forming a network. Missiles are able to differentiate targets, detect groups and prioritize

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      and India's only has a 200kg payload and 290km range.

      I've never seen an article fail so bad, and it makes India look like a joke in the process.
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "The P-500 Bazalt is a liquid-fueled, rocket powered, supersonic cruise missile used by the Soviet and Russian navies. "

      "India successfully tested Sunday a "maneuverable" version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which it has jointly developed with Russia."

      So Russia found a 40 yr old Bazalt in their basement and "developed" it with India? India didn't even get the good version, they got the crappy one that only holds 200kg with a 290km range. FAIL
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wagnerrp (1305589)

        India didn't even get the good version, they got the crappy one that only holds 200kg with a 290km range. FAIL

        The Russians have stricter export controls on anything with greater than 300km range. The Indian missile is intentionally limited to under that range to allow for continued technical support from Russia.

    • by argStyopa (232550) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:47PM (#31560526) Journal

      Actually, AFAIK the Bazalt is maneuverable only during its cruise phase, once it reaches the terminal guidance track and goes supersonic, it isn't really more than marginally guideable.

      I'd guess that the Indian one is supersonic most of its range (thus the puny 300km) and will accept course guidance during supersonic flight.

      So no, I'd guess that the title is only misleading, not grossly wrong as you imply.

  • screenshot or it didn't happen

  • Bad for Pakistan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @03:57PM (#31560086)
    I doubt Pakistan can be happy at all about this development. It's one thing to have a nuke, another to be able to deliver it. This makes a first strike weapon from Hell. About the time you figure out the war is on....it's over.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Since India has had nuke-capable ballistic missiles for some years, this doesn't actually add all that much to their nuclear capability.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by amiga3D (567632)
        Really. If you see a missile coming you can launch yours. Kind of a deterrent thing. Against sane people it works...against nut jobs, who can say? Cruise missiles are much harder to detect. They fly circuitous routes to avoid detection and generally fly at lower altitudes to avoid radar. If launched at missile silos they can effectively wipe out all nuclear offensive capability thus rendering an enemy helpless. Hence, if I were a neighboring country, I'd be a little more apprehensive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vlm (69642)

          But subsonics are cheaper, smaller, more reliable, better in every way except they are slower.

          The speed is of no account for surprise attacks because you just do ToT Time on Target calculations to stagger the launches. Besides alternate delivery is much cheaper (UPS, fedex, the local trucking company)

          So, a SS CM is only useful for very fast delivery, very low latency missions... more the response to the surprise attack than the surprise attack itself.

    • Not about Pakistan (Score:5, Informative)

      by Goonie (8651) <robert@merkel.benambra@org> on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:32PM (#31560418) Homepage

      Weapons like the BrahMos are primarily aimed at ships. Yes, you could also use it as a precision-guided land attack cruise missile, but Pakistan's navy is small and almost irrelevant for conflict with India.

      This weapon - and, indeed, much of India's military development - is about maintaining military competitiveness with China, and to some extent the ability to discourage the US from interfering if India conducts military operations in areas it regards as its sphere of influence.

      The US Navy is apparently upgrading its cruise missile defences on its ships, replacing the Phalanx gun-based system with a missile-based version, because of missiles like the BrahMos.

      • by tsotha (720379) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @05:45PM (#31561060)

        The phalanx has been going away for decades. In fact, it was conceived as a stop-gap system that was only supposed to be around a few years because the Rolling Airframe Missile was (badly) late.

        Personally, I don't see why something like Phalanx wouldn't be the right system to use against really fast missiles. The energy released when a DU bullet hits a missile coming in at mach 2.8 (or mach 5.2 for Brahmos II) must be absolutely enormous. Sure, you'll get crap all over the deck, but that's not the end of the world.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Personally, I don't see why something like Phalanx wouldn't be the right system to use against really fast missiles.

          Because supersonic missiles travel so fast and phalanx-type systems have such a short range that in the time it takes the phalanx to reacgt and engage the missile, it'll be so close that it'll blow right next to the defender.

          It might not sink the target ship, but all that 'crap on deck' (more like shrapnel) could easily disable most sensors and cripple the ship, leaving it out of combat anyway

        • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @09:05PM (#31562638)

          Personally, I don't see why something like Phalanx wouldn't be the right system to use against really fast missiles. The energy released when a DU bullet hits a missile coming in at mach 2.8 (or mach 5.2 for Brahmos II) must be absolutely enormous. Sure, you'll get crap all over the deck, but that's not the end of the world.

          Because of the engagement envelope. It's very, very tiny. Against a supersonic target it would be a second or two at most. Scoring a critical hit against a cruise missile doesn't do much good if you do so only a hundred feet out. In the Falklands War, the Brits almost lost a ship to a dud Exocet. The warhead didn't go off but just the impact and burning fuel was almost enough to sink the ship. Just how bad could this be? I don't think we've ever conducted live fire tests. We really should.

          Your primary defense against incoming cruise missiles is blowing them up before they're launched, be it ground or air-based. Failing that, your next best bet is knocking them down at range with your SAMs. A CWIS system is only meant to be the last line of defense.

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @06:34PM (#31561378) Journal

        The US Navy is apparently upgrading its cruise missile defences on its ships, replacing the Phalanx gun-based system with a missile-based version, because of missiles like the BrahMos.

        1. The Phalanx is a secondary line of defense against [everything]. The primary defense for cruise missiles is missile based.
        2. There is a missile system being tested to run alongside the Phalanx system (SeaRAM), but not to supplant it.

        Maybe you could give us a bit more information to explain what you're talking about

    • Maybe India, China, and Pakistan will all bankrupt themselves with an arms race. India has help from Russia, a country with some experience in this area...
      • I think you'll find the US still leads by a clear margin [wikipedia.org], both in absolute terms and in percentage of GDP terms.

        Though that might just be because all the other nations have the unfair advantage of not having a messed up lobbying system that results in pork-barrel inflated contracts for projects delivered years late. Just maybe.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Nawww, the real "first strike weapon from Hell." is a 20 foot standard shipping container, either in the harbor or hauled around the country on a flatbed semi trailer. Heck, a really big RV, or a cargo jet, would work too. The fact that no one has done this to the USA yet, is basically proof that at least either the motive or the capability doesn't exist.

      Now a SS cruise missile, that would be an interesting tactical weapon if you're losing a hot conventional war aka surprise invasion, or a great "return f

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brunokummel (664267)

      I doubt Pakistan can be happy at all about this development. It's one thing to have a nuke, another to be able to deliver it. This makes a first strike weapon from Hell. About the time you figure out the war is on....it's over.

      What keeps them to shoot each other then? IMHO is the effect that a first strike would cause on the striker itself, for example, if India strikes first, all the islamic world will come down on India, and if Pakistan launches it first, all the rest of the world will come down on them. As it alway has been, Nukes are more like a strategy weapon than a tactical one. You only have it to be able to threat your enemy not to kill him.

  • Cruise Missile? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:31PM (#31560402) Homepage
    Isn't this just a really fast surface to surface missile? The operational range is 1/10 of a Tomahawk. How is this any different from a short range ballistics missile, other than the trajectory? I don't mean to criticize an impressive achievement but I foresee it being very different in use from something like a Tomahawk. A Tomahawk can be fired from a huge standoff range and hit its target. With this missile, the attacker has to get relatively close to its target, thus making it vulnerable to defenses. A big part of the value of a cruise missile is that the attacker can stay relatively safe. I think this weapon is much more defensive in nature and this is perhaps a reflection of India's strategic outlook.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tftp (111690)

      How is this any different from a short range ballistics missile, other than the trajectory?

      That's one big difference right here. The path of the ballistic missile, once the engine stops, is predetermined (some newest warheads excepted.) The fixed path makes it easier to shoot it down. Another fact is that the ballistic missile is high in the sky, where your radar can see it clearly. The cruise missile does opposite to all of that: it is always powered, it can change course at any time, and it hugs the gr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tsotha (720379)

      Most cruise missiles are designed to be really hard to detect once they've been launched (the Stark, for example, saw incoming Iraqi aircraft but didn't pick up the Exocet missiles they launched). The Brahmos (and earlier versions like the Russian P-800 Onyx) have a different strategy - it's a lot easier to pick up on radar and IR, but you don't have a lot of time to knock it down.

      The advantage of a flat trajectory over ballistic is two-fold: 1) cruise missiles are easier to make than ballistic missiles.

  • Bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by SoVeryTired (967875) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @04:53PM (#31560586)

    Bah. Wake me up when they have a maneuverable superluminal cruise missile.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @05:41PM (#31561028) Homepage

    It is ironic that the technology that goes into such a missile, from the computers and materials to the social networks that plan and test such things could instead bring abundance to everyone in the world. Yet people still build such things from a scarcity-based mindset, not recognizing the total irony. The tools of abundance all around us now (robotics, computers, networks, biotech, chemistry, nanontech, nuclear technology, and so on) are so powerful -- we will destroy ourselves if we use them from a scarcity mindset. If used from an abundance mindset, we could instead make the world into a much happier place.

    As Albert Einstein said, "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind."

    We need to change our hearts towards providing abundance for all, before we all die of the unrecognized irony.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tftp (111690)

      We need to change our hearts towards providing abundance for all

      People fight each other because there is natural scarcity of materials. Oil is one, most popular example, and wars are being fought right now over that. Another popular, highly desirable and scarce object is power over other people.

      It is possible to leave those mental rudiments behind and live peacefully; but to get there you will need a mind reprogramming technology, because humans come into this world hardwired for violence, competition

      • by Jangchub (1139089) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @06:28PM (#31561344)
        Mod +1 insightful.

        The difficult situation humans face, IMHO, is that we have risen above "lesser" animals, and therefore our survival strategies, in that we have achieved self referencing consciousness and the ability to act based on abstract and irrational values rather than only survival strategies, but still have knee-jerk habitual patterns of fear of other and hyper self preservation. Oh and the newfangled ability to construct WMD. Exactly as Einstein said, we've left the cave in terms of ability to manipulate the outer environment, but haven't caught up in our value systems nor our maturity. Whether we just cannot see the forest for the trees and therefore even our modern abstractions of values and worldviews are extensions of the original survival of the fittest trait generation is to be seen but is perhaps irrelevant in that we now are capable of a conscious choice, irrational or not.

        To choose to act toward the benefit of all mankind or even all sentient life may not seem rational in a closed system.

        Like the prisoners dilemma, the issue is that the power to destroy is within reach of those who still have the fight and horde reaction of our ancestry.

        There are reprogramming techniques that you mention: it's called Religion, Spiritualism and Philosophy; or perhaps just a damn EDUCATION as to the suffrage of our past - things not so heavily respected in consumer culture, and unfortunately when mentioned, the majority of these seem to have been created with and populated by people driven with the same motivations that lead to short term gains at the cost of long term evolution. Just my 2 cents. I'll go back to doing whatever stereotypical behavior that will marginalize my opinion.

  • Supersonic cruise missiles should be hitting the market just about the time that shipboard anti-missile lasers do.

    -jcr

  • by knapper_tech (813569) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @10:00PM (#31563022)
    Russia built a series of supersonic anti-ship missiles with ranges in the cruise category. They were mostly fit aboard submarines and destroyers and designed for saturation attacks, which our missile defense systems were poorly equipped to deal with.

    Using modern technology (higher temperature alloys, ceramic composites, and CFD optimization) it would be easily possible to build a cruise missile in the 1000nm range. In fact, because subsonic cruisers have to combat with launcher dimensions, their form factors are ill-suited for subsonic drag reduction and supersonic missiles might have an aerodynamic advantage.

    ATK is currently developing a hypersonic cruise missile for the 800km range, which is an important gap filler between what artillery, short-range missiles, and ballistic missiles can hit quickly. This range is currently filled by subsonic cruise-missiles which can take over an hour to reach the target. Time-critical-strike it's called.

    The issue with a supersonic cruise missile is that it needs even more than a subsonic cruiser to fly at high altitude in order to achieve satisfactory range. Aerodynamic heating is difficult, perhaps limiting at low altitudes for more than a short terminal phase. Flying at high altitude means they are easier to detect (not that look-down-shoot-down isn't standard, but ship-based phased-array radars won't be looking down) albeit harder to intercept due to their higher velocity.

    What's really scary are the Chinese developed anti-ship ballistic missiles [wikipedia.org]. Stealthy re-entry vehicles that can perform course changes. This is an interception nightmare and likely driving the US Navy ballistic.

Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger

Working...