End March 2012, the Defence Research and Development Organisation test-fired an improved version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. The launch was a developmental trial of the land version of BrahMos incorporating certain new systems. “The BrahMos Block III version with advanced guidance algorithm was flight tested from ITR Balasore. The missile flew through the designated 290 km distance at Mach 2.8 and achieved high precision with steep dive. The network of telemetry stations and down range ships confirmed that the missile followed the pre-designated flight path,” said Dr Shivthanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture. India and Russia are in talks to jointly develop a hypersonic cruise missile, RIA Novosti quoted Praveen Pathak, Additional General Manager at BrahMos Aerospace at the DefExpo India 2012 in Delhi. The two partners are expected to soon agree on a general outline of the design for the weapons system which will be capable of flying at Mach 5 to 7, he said.
The first test-firing of the air-launched variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is expected by the end of this year. Work on adapting the air-launched variant of BrahMos to the Su-30MKI aircraft is underway with several aircraft already modified to carry the weapon. The Indian Air Force has already taken delivery of a number of the ground-launched variant of the BrahMos.