India successfully carried out the maiden test firing of a submarine-launched BrahMos missile, lunching the 290 km-range supersonic missile over a test range in the Bay of Bengal. India is the first country to demonstrate such capability. The missile was fired from a submerged ponton simulating a submarine launcher. Ship and ground-launched versions of the missile have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and the Navy.
“BrahMos missile is fully ready for fitment in submarines in vertical launch configuration which will make the platform one of the most powerful weapon platforms in the world,” BrahMos company chairman Sivathanu Pillai said. Submarines having vertical launch tubes are not yet available with the Indian Navy. The first submarine, INS Arihant is expected to enter sea trials this year (2013) and, following commissioning, will provide a launch testing platform for three missiles – K15, BrahMos and Nirbhai cruise missile. The first of three Arihant class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) was originally scheduled to be commissioned in 2013, to be followed by two sister ships thereafter.
The maiden test of the submarine-launched version of BrahMos comes over a week after the indigenously built long-range subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay failed to hit its target in its first test.