Wednesday, May 29, 2024

BrahMos At 25: India’s Top Guns Praise Indigenous Supersonic Missile Reshaping Domestics & Global Defence Landscape

By Kamal Shah 

BrahMos Aerospace organised the ‘BrahMos Users Meet 2023′ as part of its celebration of ’25 Supersonic Years of Success’.

Esteemed guests such as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande, and Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (VCNS) Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh graced the event.

CDS Gen. Anil Chauhan, IAF Chief ACM Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Army Chief  Gen. Manoj Pande, & Navy Vice Chief VAdm. Sanjay Jasjit Singh on stage; Photo Courtesy BrahMos Aerospace

Addressing the gathering, Gen. Chauhan, India’s second CDS, said that the formidable BrahMos Weapon System is India’s ‘Brahmastra’. Highlighting the integration of the weapon into the tri-services, he said, “BrahMos is a major success story of Aatmanirbharta in Defence. Truly a Brahmastra, the missile is successfully operationalised in all three services.” The bold statement illustrated the confidence the Indian military holds in this supersonic missile system.

The General emphasised the missile’s role in promoting peace through power.

He further acknowledged the evolving global security environment and the need for India to continue strengthening its comprehensive national power. Applauding the success of BrahMos Aerospace, the India-Russia Defence Joint Venture (JV) between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM), the CDS added that it has significantly contributed to India’s defence self-sufficiency. He stated that the BrahMos missile system, among the world’s largest precision-guided weapons, has fortified India’s deterrence power in the 21st century.

Gen. Chauhan stressed the missile system’s export potential, mentioning the critical first export order from the Republic of the Philippines. The JV’s success has facilitated a transition from ‘Make-In-India’ to ‘Make-for-the-World’, with BrahMos Aerospace developing advanced variants such as the BrahMos-NG (next-gen). This transition was marked by the establishment of a manufacturing facility in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC).

IAF Chief ACM Chaudhari told those in attendance that “we need to look at the BrahMos missiles as a more strategic weapon given the calibre of the missile system. As one of our more lethal air combat assets, BrahMos has galvanised the way we will equip ourselves with precision firepower in the coming years.” He discussed the remarkable enhancement of the IAF’s firepower with the BrahMos modified Su-30MKI aircraft, now present in almost all IAF squadrons.

On the occasion, Indian Army Chief, Gen. Manoj Pande, said, “BrahMos force multiplier has profoundly enhanced our long-range precision strike ability and has given us a unique edge in strategic and operational domains of modern-day warfare.” He shed light on the growing importance of missiles for long-range engagement, asserting that the BrahMos weapon system is vital to national interests.

Dr Atul D Rane, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, accentuated the operationalisation of the versatile weapon across all three services. He spoke about how this had made India the only nation to possess a ‘Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad.’ Detailing the process behind this feat, he said that over 100 successful test firings of the BrahMos missile from various platforms had been conducted. That, he pointed out, reaffirmed the joint commitment of BrahMos Aerospace and the Indian Armed Forces to the BrahMos Weapon System.

The BrahMos CEO & MD discussed how the range of the BrahMos missile had been extended to 450 km since India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016. He declared that by 2025, the IAF is expected to be equipped with the BrahMos NG, a lighter and smaller variant than its predecessor. He elaborated on the BrahMos-II hypersonic missile as well. The missile under development is expected to reach a speed of Mach 7 and have a range of 600 km. 

Dr Rane also detailed the USD 374.96 million deal with the Philippines. India’s largest defence export contract to date, this milestone deal includes the delivery of three BrahMos missile batteries, operator and maintainer training, and an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.

Negotiations for the acquisition of the BrahMos missile system by countries like Indonesia and Thailand are underway. That indicates interest from countries in East Asia. India’s defence exports have reached an all-time high, touching the INR 16,000 crore mark in the financial year 2022-23. 

The BrahMos missile, a product of indigenous scientific acumen and national vision, has significantly bolstered India’s strategic capabilities. With its track record and continuous advancements, the BrahMos missile has garnered significant interest from potential foreign buyers seeking advanced and reliable precision-guided weapon systems. As a potent symbol of India’s growing defence prowess, the missile’s integration into the tri-services has significantly enhanced India’s long-range precision strike ability and deterrence value.

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