Missile Attack Systems

By pjain      Published Oct. 1, 2019, 5:14 a.m. in blog Geo-Politics   

Geo-Politics Series - Guide to Geo-Economic-Politics

Missile Systems

Laws for Missiles, Agreements and Treaties

Intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty

The intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The treaty’s ban on missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km aimed to reduce the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Trump unilaterally withdrew from this Q1'2019.

Ground-launched versions of the missile had been removed from service decades ago.

ICBM - Missile Systems

Hypersonic Missiles

Chinese DF-17

  • 2019-Q2 China debuted new military hardware including a “hypersonic” missile experts believe could be difficult for the US to counter. The missile, known as the DF-17, can in theory manoeuvre sharply at many times the speed of sound, making it extremely difficult to defend against.

Cruise Missiles

US new Aug'2019 ground launched missile

US tested a cruise missile this missile successfully just over 500 km, just weeks after Washington withdrew from INF.

The ground-launched missile, a conventionally-configured version of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile

Tomahawk - US

  • Flies at a sub-sonic speed of 500-600 KMPH ?

Babar - Pakistan

  • Flies at a sub-sonic speed of 500-600 KMPH

India's Missile Systems

Brahmos cruise missiles - anti-ship, over-mountain land

While it has a small 300 kg payload, its ability to maintain supersonic speeds while skimming at low altitude makes it very difficult to detect and intercept.

  • Mach 3 (2500-3000 km/hr) speed (which makes it very difficult to detect and track) Speed 2.9 Mach (3500 km/h = 1km/s = 1000 m/s)
  • 300 kg Semi-Armor piercing warhead (which causes massive damage upon impact)
  • Small physical Diameter 0.6 meters
  • Very small RCS (Radar cross section) (RCS 0.1 square meters is generally taken for surface-to-air missiles but it can be around this value) - makes it very difficult to detect, track and intercept
  • Claims high precision of 5 m - VERY effective against ships
  • Designed for low-altitude flying even as low as 5 m to fool radar - even over curved horizon, hills, etc.

  • Very high kinetic energy on impact (which disintegrates smaller ships and cripples larger ones)

  • S-maneuver just a few seconds before impact (which makes interception very difficult)

  • 300 km range in Hi-Lo altitude profile

  • 400+ km range in Hi-altitude profile

  • No wings (makes it harder to shoot down as winged missiles plunge into water after suffering wing damage)

BrahMos can touch an astonishing maximum speed of Mach 2.8 (roughly 3400 KMPH). Though its range is limited – just 290 KM and it can carry a light warhead of just 200-300KG, its ability to maintain supersonic speeds while skimming at low altitude makes it very difficult to detect and intercept. During the last leg of its flight, just before hitting its target, BrahMos performs `S-manoeuvre’ to evade any anti-missile defence system.

BrahMos’ kinetic energy gives it an edge in terms of stealth, hit probability and better target penetration characteristics, making it a deadly weapon. One can only imagine the impact a target would have when a 3 ton 28 feet long missile carrying a300 KG semi-armor-piercing warhead flying at speed of 3000 KMPH hit it with pinpoint accuracy (CEP of 5 meters) – missile will tear the ship apart.

  • The main disadvantages of BrahMos are
  • Only 120 km range when using Lo-altitude sea-skimming profile
  • Not intelligent ( can’t take evasive measures on its own to avoid interceptor missiles and follows predetermined path)


  • 2001-06 BrahMos was first tested and later was deployed successfully on Rajput class destroyers.
  • 2004, land attack version from mobile launchers was tested for Army
  • 2009 completed armed force testing.
  • 3 regiments have been commissioned and deployed for ships.
  • 2014-04 tested in a steep dive-cum-target discrimination mode that enables the missile to take out selected targets hidden behind a mountain range accurately.
  • Soon a 4th regiment will have the test version of a missile that was specially designed for mountain warfare.
  • Future speedup to 5 Mach, possibly higher

US vs Brahmos

  • https://defencyclopedia.com/2014/12/27/explained-how-the-us-navy-can-shoot-down-the-deadly-brahmos-missile/

The only possible Anti-missile system that can possibly stop BrahMos (single or ripple fired) effectively is Barak-8 which has been tested to show that similar targets to Brahmos can be taken down as near as 200meters.

S-400 vs Brahmos - not easy

  • Model of Detect, Engage, Track, Missile Guidance
  • Long range radar MUST detect in advance - range is 100 km, but horizon is only 16 kms. Hills can help or harm as missile has to clear them, but clever cruise missiles can go lower between hills to fool radar.
  • Engagement radar
  • Track, Missile Guidance
  • Missile hits it

The S-400’s Engagement radar 92N6E will find no difficulty to lock on Brahmos target at Good range and take it down with the short range 9M96 missiles, the maneuverability and Speed/accuracy of the 9M96 missiles will let no big chance for the Brahmos to escape ,those missiles have big G’s capability and uses powerful warheads.


There are no comments yet

Add new comment

Similar posts

Military R&D and Innovation

Israel Arms Industry

USA Dynasties and Oligarchies

Global Key factors and Trends ======