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China fumes as India deploys BrahMos missile along its border in Eastern sector

India TV News Desk New Delhi 23 August 2016, 12:05
India TV News Desk

More than a fortnight after the Indian government approved deployment of BrahMos supersonic missiles in the Eastern sector to ramp up its capabilities along the border with China, Beijing has warned that such a move would have ‘a negative influence’ on stability along the border.

A commentary over the weekend in the PLA Daily, the official publication of People’s Liberation Army, said the deployment of the supersonic cruise missiles could lead to counter-measures by China.

“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. Deploying BrahMos missiles is bound to increase competitiveness and confrontation in Sino-Indian relations and bring a negative influence to stability of the region,” the commentary said.

The piece noted other steps taken by India to beef up its capabilities along the border with China, such as the deployment of UAVs and Su-30 combat jets.

It also said that such moves were part of a policy of ‘counterbalance and confrontation’.

Highlighting the descriptions of the new version of the BrahMos in Indian media reports, the commentary said, “It fits in the Sino-Indian border where it’s mostly mountain topography.”

The missile’s “penetration capabilities” poses a threat to China’s border regions, said the commentary by an expert from the PLA Navy’s engineering university.

However, it added that the BrahMos missile’s range of 290 km “cannot threaten China’s deep zones”.

Earlier PTI had reported that the government has cleared the fourth BrahMos regiment at a cost of over Rs 4,300 crore. The regiment consists of around 100 missiles, five mobile autonomous launchers on 12×12 heavy-duty trucks and a mobile command post, among other hardware and software.

The missile was under test by the Army and last known test of the missile in the Eastern sector was done in May, 2015. The steep-dive attack cruise missile can hit enemy targets hidden in the shadows of mountains.

The Indian Army has already inducted three regiments of BrahMos in its arsenal. All are equipped with Block-III version of the missile. The land-attack version of BrahMos has been operational in the Indian Army since 2007. The fire-and-forget BrahMos has the capability to take on surface-based targets by flying a combined hi-lo trajectory, thus evading enemy air defence systems. Fire-and-forget missiles do not need further guidance after launch.

BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land and has been inducted in all the three services.

The BrahMos missile is a two-stage vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid propellant ram-jet system. Developed jointly with Russia,the missile can be launched from multiple platforms like submarine,ship,aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound. It can carry conventional warheads up to 300 kg.