India’s military’s research and development agency successfully test fired the naval version of BRAHMOS missile from INS Chennai (Kolkata-class destroyer) on 18 October 2020. BRAHMOS missile was test fired from an indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Chennai. BRAHMOS missile hit a target in Arabian Sea.

BRAHMOS is a supersonic missile. BRAHMOS was jointly developed by India and Russia.

Classification of BRAHMOS Missiles

The major classification of the BRAHMOS missiles is Cruise Missiles and Ballistic Missiles

Ballistic missiles

Ballistic Missiles are those missiles that have a ballistic trajectory. The currently operational ballistic missiles in the Indian Defence Systems are Prithvi I, Agni I, Prithvi II, Agni II and Dhanush.

Cruise Missiles

Cruise Missiles are those missiles that are self-propelled till impact. Cruise Missiles use jet engine technology and fly within the atmosphere.

Cruise missiles can be categorised based on their speed, range, size and whether launched from air, land or surface ship or submarine.

Missile Speed

Based on the speeds, the missiles are classified as follows

  1. Hypersonic cruise missile
  2. Subsonic Cruise Missile
  3. Supersonic Cruise Missile

Hypersonic Cruise missile travels at a speed of more than Mach 5. Supersonic Cruise missiles travel at a speed of Mach 2 to 3. Subsonic Cruise missiles travel at a speed of mach 0.8.

Launch mode

The missiles are classified as follows based on their launch mode

Surface to surface missile

Surface to surface missiles have a guided projectile Anda launched from a vehicle mounted or trailer mounted or handheld or fixed installation. They are powered by a rocket motor or explosive charges.

Surface to air missiles

Surface to air missiles are designed for launch from ground full stop there destroyed aerial targets such as helicopters aircraft or even ballistic missiles. They are generally called the air defence systems as they are generally involved in aerial attack.

Surface to sea missiles

Surface to sea missiles are launched from land to destroy ships in the sea as targets.

Air to air missiles

Air to air missiles are launched from aircraft to destroy the enemy aircraft.

The Other types are air to surface missile, sea to sea missile, anti tank missile and sea to surface missile.


These missiles are classified based on their range as follows

  1. Short range missiles
  2. Medium range missiles
  3. Intercontinental ballistic missiles
  4. Intermediate range missiles


These missiles are classified as follows based on their proportion

Solid propulsion

Generally aluminium powder is used as solid propulsion fuel. They reach high speeds very quickly.

Liquid propulsion

Liquid propulsion Technology uses liquid as fuel. Generally, hydrocarbons are used as liquid propulsion fuels. However, storage of liquid propulsion fuel in the missiles is difficult. The impulse given by liquid propulsion fuel is higher than that of the solid propulsion fuel.

Hybrid propulsion

Two stages of hybrid propulsion are solid propulsion and liquid propulsion.


Ramjet does not have turbines.  Rather the compression of air in the missiles is achieved through to forward speed of the missiles. Therefore, the Ramjet Missile should travel at Supersonic speeds for the air to enter inside. The fuel is injected and ignited. The heat produced from the ignition expands the gases in the air and the combustion accelerates the Missile to higher velocities.


Scramjet is Supersonic combustion ramjet. Here hydrogen is used as fuel.


Cryogenic missiles use liquefied gases stored at very low temperature as fuel. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel mostly.

Based on Warhead the missiles are classified as conventional Warhead and strategic Warhead.

Based on guidance system the missiles are classified as follows

  • Wire guidance
  • Command guidance
  • Terrain comparison guidance (TCG)
  • Terrestrial guidance (TG)
  • Inertial guidance (IG)
  • Beam Rider guidance (BRG)
  • Laser guidance (LG)
  • Radio frequency and GPS guidance.

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