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BrahMos Storage Complex Under Construction in Halwara

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Sep 24, 2010
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Author: Zaki Khalid

The BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from the land, air or sea. Variants of this missile have been developed through a joint venture between state-owned Indian and Russian defence establishments. Although India has gradually increased indigenous production of several components, its ramjet propulsion systems and seeker technology are still manufactured by Russia.

Since the inaugural test launch of the BrahMos in 2001, India has made concerted efforts to modify its original designs that are best suited to its operational interests. While some locations of its active deployments are known, examination of open source satellite imagery shared by observers at PAK-IMINT reveals that a new and dedicated storage complex for BrahMos missiles is being developed in the vicinity of Air Force Station (AFS) Halwara in Indian Punjab; the site is not more than 200 kilometres from the International Border with Pakistan.

A historical examination of available images suggests the new site was non-existent in 2020 and was likely constructed around mid 2021. The under-construction storage complex comprises of 3 linear magazines of 25 storage bays each, totalling 75 bays; at the bare minimum, the complex can store no less than 75 missiles.

A closer inspection of additional facilities situated 200 metres north of the storage area further suggest that a weapons assembly and missile checkout facility is also in the works.

BrahMos missiles are reported to have a standoff advantage with ranges of upto 300 kilometres. Thus, while being stationed at Halwara, they can cover an area of 75,000 square kilometres across the International Border.

In case of war, missiles can easily target prominent cities in Pakistan’s Punjab province including Lahore, Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal and Jhelum, to name a few. It can also easily take out targets in Sargodha (home to Pakistan Air Force’s Central Air Command) and Mangla, home to the Tarbela Dam.

Each BrahMos regiment comprises of 72 missiles. Therefore, the visible presence of 75 bays points to the fact that at least one regiment will be raised. This construction activity will warrant interest from Pakistan’s national security leaders.

AFS Halwara rose to prominence during the 2019 military escalation with Pakistan. Aircraft from five different bases in IAF’s Western and Central Air Commands participated in the alleged ‘cross-border strike’; these included two Su-30MKI squadrons taking off as decoys, one from Halwara.

The following year (October 2020), another noteworthy incident occurred when a BrahMos ACLM fitted on a Su-30MKI struck a target in the Bay of Bengal; the aircraft had taken off from AFS Halwara, located more than 3,000 kilometres away.

An examination of BrahMos missile tests conducted during the previous five years (2017-2021) reveals that an overwhelming majority of the tests were conducted in and around the Bay of Bengal region.
*based on open source data held by the author

It was only last month that the BrahMos ACLM received the Indian government’s nod for mass production. However, several more tests will need to take place. The July 2021 flight test was a reported failure. In view of similarities between the under-construction storage complex and similar infrastructure in Gujarat and Assam, observers at PAK-IMINT proffer that this new complex will most likely store the LACM (Land-Attack Cruise Missile).

From a military operations perspective also, it would be imprudent to construct a regiment-sized storage complex for ACLMs. As discussed earlier, a few missiles fired by Su-30MKIs based out of AFS Halwara would be sufficient to take out high-value installations across the border. Therefore, the initial assessment is that LACMs will eventually be brought for storage in this complex.

It needs to be emphasised, however, that the construction of this new storage complex in the vicinity of AFS Halwara does not, in and of itself, indicate that the IAF would be its users. There are several locations where the Indian Army deployed air defence batteries right outside IAF bases; examples include Tezpur and Missamari in Assam, where BrahMos sites of both services are located in close proximity to each other. Another example is AFS Leh, which does not reportedly have its own air defence cover and relies on an army-operated Akash battery adjacent to the base walls.

From a Pakistani standpoint, the presence of BrahMos missiles (LACM or ACLM) matters more than speculation as to which armed service will actually be the owner of the new storage complex.​

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SQ8

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Ambala is housing the S-400 to provide cover for these facilities as well. India is no longer looking for surgical strikes but a larger scale all out campaign to diminish Pakistan military conventional capability to a point where the only option remains nuclear and that can be used as a gambit to pressurize and coerce Pakistan in collusion with other powers to either turn into Bangladesh or at the least give up on most major issues.
 

aziqbal

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Brahmos will be air launched, sea launched, surface launched and submarine launched

it is a real headache for Pakistan and can cause allot of devastation

a pre-emotive strike on the storage facility should not be ruled out

because once its launched there are few options
 

K_Bin_W

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Ambala is housing the S-400 to provide cover for these facilities as well. India is no longer looking for surgical strikes but a larger scale all out campaign to diminish Pakistan military conventional capability to a point where the only option remains nuclear and that can be used as a gambit to pressurize and coerce Pakistan in collusion with other powers to either turn into Bangladesh or at the least give up on most major issues.
Thats not gonna happen at least in your and mine lifetime...

BTW... Such facilities also make for a very juicy target.....
 

Ali_Baba

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That missile base is very close to Pakistan - within MLRS range, within SOW range, and short range ballistic missiles - i cannot see it lasting long if/when the shooting starts.
 

Pak Nationalist

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Ambala is housing the S-400 to provide cover for these facilities as well. India is no longer looking for surgical strikes but a larger scale all out campaign to diminish Pakistan military conventional capability to a point where the only option remains nuclear and that can be used as a gambit to pressurize and coerce Pakistan in collusion with other powers to either turn into Bangladesh or at the least give up on most major issues.
The costs would be exorbitant for the Indian economy and military. Any large-scale exchange of projectiles and CMs between both countries laden with conventional warheads would ultimately truncate Pakistani offensive capabilities but not before Indian military/economic infrastructure is sufficiently weakened. Remember that India today does not face threat from a single border. The longer the Chinese allow India to gain strength and integrate into the QUAD framework, the severer the nature of the threat will become for China. In the event Indian gross national power is significantly affected, China should make its move if it is a rational actor. I think a similar line of reasoning would give the Indian state a cause for moderation in its posture towards Pakistan. It seems content, for now, to bleed Pakistan through proxy conflict with Pakistan not repaying the favor in kind. What we need to do is become as thorny an adversary as we can. So much so that any conflict would result in unacceptable losses to the enemy. To establish such capabilities that deter aggression, Pakistan needs large inventories of CMs, and BMs. Technological advancements, not just numbers of these weapon systems would be a necessity as well with a growingly complex AD environment.
Brahmos will be air launched, sea launched, surface launched and submarine launched

it is a real headache for Pakistan and can cause allot of devastation

a pre-emotive strike on the storage facility should not be ruled out

because once its launched there are few options
That is why Pakistan needs an equally problematic (for its foe) solution to this problem. When it is a matter of survival, nations go all out (North Korea). It is perturbing that even after years, we have not entered into long-ranged supersonic CM age. The turnkey Chinese solutions we have acquired are confined to short ranges as dictated by global arms control norms.
Distance from say Lahore to Halwara is less than 150 Km.....would like to see how the Indian defences would cope with even the likes of Fatah-1 guided rocket system.


View attachment 807153
140 km
Distance from Wagah to Halwara


I doubt if these systems have the ability to obliterate underground storage facilities. Such devastating weapons as Brahmos would not only be stored in on-ground structures. There must be subterranean infrastructure to ensure their survivability in the event of a counter on storage sites holding them.
 
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nahtanbob

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The longer the Chinese allow India to gain strength and integrate into the QUAD framework, the severer the nature of the threat will become for it.
There is nothing China can do other than push India into the arms of USA
Neither China nor Pakistan is going to fight a two front war with India and even limited American air power
 

arjunk

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arjunk

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Pakistan can also launch a massive pre emptive strike using its MRBMs, which cannot be intercepted by any system India has (except maybe the ageing Ghauri missiles).

However, both countries have to keep in mind that when launching a massive wave of nuclear capable missiles, it could easily be interpreted as a surprise strategic nuclear strike (against cities). This will result in accidental nuclear war breaking out.

Unless the Indian commanders have gone rabid - or the Indian military has failed miserably like it did post-balakot - they will not seriously consider risking their entire country just to take out some PAF bases and other targets.

The risk of accidental nuclear war is especially high with the increasingly belligerent statements the Hindu Nationalist Indian government is making. There is no reason to believe they will honour their NFU policy anymore. Hell, it's been nearly 80 years and they haven't been able to hold a referendum in Kashmir, as they "promised."
 

Shah_Deu

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Distance from say Lahore to Halwara is less than 150 Km.....would like to see how the Indian defences would cope with even the likes of Fatah-1 guided rocket system.


View attachment 807153
140 km
Distance from Wagah to Halwara


When the gloves are off, no compulsion to put Fatah-1 batteries near Lahore. The distance to Halwara AFS from IB (Kasur for example) is much lesser. Its almost certain that in the early days of the conflict, the IA FOB's and S-400 Batteries would be the first ones to go up in smoke.

1641718065315.png


it is a real headache for Pakistan and can cause allot of devastation
Well it just depends on how willing they really are to go up the ladder leading to a mutually assured destruction. The use of a 300km range weapon would pretty much start a spiral of MAD. Brahmos or not, in my opinion, the used technology (CM, BM, SOW etc) is less relevant here than the depth in Pakistan and the choice of target that they are willing to engage. Going up the ladder, we must not forget that Delhi is also just 350 km from IB too. Once the long sticks are out, a couple of hundred kms here or there doesnt make much a difference.
 
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Warking

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S400 would have issues due to basically china knowing exactly how it works it would probably hacked or something.
 

Trango Towers

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Brahmos will be air launched, sea launched, surface launched and submarine launched

it is a real headache for Pakistan and can cause allot of devastation

a pre-emotive strike on the storage facility should not be ruled out

because once its launched there are few options
Bhai launching such a strike would have serious consequences and Indian planners know there will be huge response
 

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