BrahMos, the world’s first supersonic cruise missile developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, has already bagged orders worth Rs 25,000 crore from the Indian defence forces.

Having started deliveries to the Indian Army and Navy, the joint venture is slated to commence deliveries of a slightly modified version to the Indian Air Force from 2015.

It has attracted world attention mostly because of the flexibility of using multiple platforms to launch the 290-km- range missile and low cost.

“There is lot of export opportunity, with about 14 countries showing interest. However, there are issues like the country’s security interests and what model (of the missile) that can be exported,” A. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, told mediapersons on the sidelines of an industry consortium meet here today.

Russia, which holds 49.5 per cent stake in the joint venture, has already indicated its willingness to allow for export of the missile to some countries, while India is yet to take any decision.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, speaking at the consortium meet, also said that many countries were showing interest in it. He felt that India and Russia should explore possibilities of using this opportunity to export the system to select and friendly countries.

He was optimistic that the production order for BrahMos would rise from $7 billion to $10 billion by 2015.

The joint venture is currently working on a slightly modified version of the missile to suit the needs of the Indian Air Force. It is being fitted to the Air Force’s deep-strike Sukoi aircraft.

“Because of the size and weight of the missile, we are fitting the aircraft with one missile each. By this year-end, we will conduct flight trials with weight simulated missile (not having propellant) and by mid-next year we will have the live flight trials. We will be ready for induction with the Air Force by 2015,” Pillai said.

The joint venture will later start work on new versions of the missile such as a hypersonic model.

(This article was published on July 30, 2013)
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