The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has given its nod for acquisition of over 200 BrahMos Extended Range (ER) supersonic cruise missiles for deployment on Indian Navy warships.

The deal worth ₹19,000 crore was cleared by CCS in its meeting held on Wednesday night. A formal agreement to roll out the process of induction of the weapons into the Indian Navy between the BrahMos Aerospace and Ministry of Defence (MoD) is expected to be signed early next month, said government sources.

The move comes after the Indian Navy successfully tested the supersonic cruise missile, which has an extended range of 400 to 500 km, from a Rajput class frigate in the Bay of Bengal on November 1. Later in the same month, another test fire to test the extended range of the supersonic cruise missile was carried out from a Kolkata/Visakhapatnam class guided destroyer.

More precise

The Navy is already armed with the previous version of BrahMoS, having a range of nearly 300 km, and the ER variant not only has the capability to cover more distance but also ability to fire with more precision,, a naval expert said.

The Navy in March 2023 ordered 200 BrahMos missiles in a deal valued at $2.5 billion, while the Indian Air Force (IAF) was the first to place the order way back in 2012 for same quantity of quickest missile in the world at a cost of $1 billion. And the Army is reportedly equipped with five regiments of BrahMos, which comes to over 300 missiles.

All the three variants of extended versions of BrahMos, a joint venture between India and Russia, have been successfully test launched from land, air, ship and submarines successfully since the last October.

Foreign countries, especially ones in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, have also shown interest in the BrahMos after the company inked a $375 million deal with Philippines for export of its missiles, said government sources.

Brahmos Aerospace Chairperson, Atul Rane, had said last year that the missile project has achieved 75 per cent indigenous capability and they were looking at sales target of $5 billion by 2025.