An advanced variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia was successfully tested at the Pokhran range in Rajasthan. And the test-firing of the missile having a strike capability of 290 km, which validated its deep penetration capability, was carried out from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher deployed in full configuration with the Mobile Command Post at 10.55 am, a BrahMos official said. The Block-III variant test-fired by the Army “followed the pre-determined trajectory and it successfully pierced the designated concrete structure at bull’s eye owing to sheer velocity of the missile which can touch 2.8 Mach or nearly three times the speed of sound”. “The launch has successfully validated the deep penetration capability of the supersonic cruise missile system against hardened targets,” the official added. BrahMos chief Mr A Sivathanu Pillai, senior Union Ministry of Defence officials and Army top brass, including Corps Commander Lt Gen Amit Sharma were present on the occasion. Already, the Block III variant of the land-attack BrahMos has displayed its ability to achieve supersonic steep dive with precision strike capability in mountain operations. And the Army has inducted two Regiments of the missile, while the third Regiment is in the process of being inducted. Meanwhile, the Centre’s nod for deploying the fourth Regiment of the highly manoeuvrable missile in hilly terrain is awaited. BrahMos carries a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg and it can be launched from multiple platforms, including land, sea, sub-sea and air. Both the Army and Navy have already inducted the missile in service, while the air version of the weapon is scheduled to be tested by the IAF soon.