NEW DELHI:The defence ministry said, India on Thursday successfully test-fired a supersonic cruise missile jointly developed with Russia to fine-tune its ability to hit targets.
The BrahMos missile, designed to carry conventional warheads, was fired from India’s main missile testing centre in the eastern state of Orissa state, said ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar.
At least 400 families living nearby were evacuated to shelters for safety, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The BrahMos, named after India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moscow River, has been developed by a joint venture company set up by India and Russia nearly 13 years ago.
Thursday’s launch, part of ongoing trials, was intended to monitor the ”mountain warfare capability of the missile, its manoeuvrability and precision strike capability,” said Kar.
He said it was a ”perfect launch” and declared the trial ”successful”. It was monitored by naval ships in the Bay of Bengal.
Kar said other countries in the region, which he did not name, had been notified in advance of the launch.
India and Pakistan regularly test missiles, and to prevent misunderstandings, give each other notice, particularly for longer-range launches.
The BrahMos has a maximum range of 180 miles. It can be launched from land, ships, submarines and aircraft, and has already been deployed by one army battalion.
The joint venture also has contracts to provide Russian aircraft with BrahMos missiles.