In a landmark development in the defence history of the country, the President and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam handed over a replica of the mobile autonomous launchers of the BrahMos land system to the Chief of Army Staff Gen J J Singh, symbolizing the commencement of delivery of the supersonic cruise missiles to the Indian Army, at a function here today.
The missile is launched from a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) which also acts as storage and transport container.
The Government had approved induction of three regiments of BrahMos Missile system in the Indian Army out of which the Army had initially placed the requirement for one regiment. The delivery of this system was to start from July 2008. However, for early operationalisation of the missile system, the delivery of one Mobile Command Post and two Mobile Autonomous Launchers has been advanced by one year.
The function was attended among others by the Defence Minister Shri A K Antony, the Minister of State for Defence Shri M M Pallam Raju, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri Shri M Natrajan, the Ambassador of Russia to India Mr. Vyacheslav Trubnikov and the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai.
Speaking on the occasion, the President, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, said “we have to aggressively market this world-class product which will have a market shelf life of not more than five years.” He said there will be competitors who would be developing contemporary products which will be detrimental to the market leadership. “No smart developer can afford to lose the competitive edge which he has generated and hence increasing the orders and continuously improving the products have to be aggressively pursued,” he said.
The President said the time has come for BrahMos Aerospace to work on Mark-II version of BrahMos so that it will still be the market leader in hypersonic cruise missiles. “In the emerging network centric warfare scenario, the fast deployment of hypersonic missile systems will be necessary to maintain our force level supremacy. I visualize long range hypersonic cruise missiles not only delivering pay loads but also returning to the base after the mission, leading to re-usable class of cruise missiles within the next decade. It is time that the three services work with the team of BrahMos Aerospace to evolve the QR for such a system in a time bound manner,” he said.
Describing the BrahMos joint venture programme between Indian and Russia as a “great template” for international cooperation, the President said it combined the core competence of the two countries for realizing a high-technology product in an extremely competitive global defence market with minimum investment from each side.
The President also handed over 61 documents relating to operation and maintenance of each system of BrahMos to Gen. J J Singh.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in a message on the occasion described the BrahMos system as one of the most advanced supersonic cruise missiles comparable to the best in the world and said, it is an excellent model of high technology cooperation between India and Russian Federation.
Defence Minister Shri A K Antony said that the induction of BrahMos weapon system will catapult India with the most powerful supersonic cruise missile which can precisely hit the target. He said the capabilities of the missile system which have been proved through a series of successful flight trials, will bolster the Indian Army and enhance the defence preparedness of the nation. “In the changing face of the war theatre, induction of BrahMos and similar high-technology systems will play a commanding role in protecting the nation’s interests.”
Shri Antony however said that production orders to the required quantity must be made to make the joint venture economically viable. In order to cater to the growing demands of the Indian and Russian Armed Forces and export market the production activities have to be geared up to meet the growing demands, he said.
The Chief of Army Staff Gen J J Singh said that he had witnessed two launches of the BrahMos system in the desert and was confident that the missile system will be a force multiplier in our strategic armoury.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Pillai said, when all four versions of BrahMos (Ship, Mobile Complex, Air and Submarine-launched) missiles are used in a seamless integration among the various services, it will effectively destroy any kind of threat. “BrahMos will be a war winner and will play a crucial role in the future warfare,” he said. Dr. Pillai said that DRDO has played a very important role in the development of a number of systems for the missile and ground complex and continues to work on many developmental efforts including INS + Glonass integration, seeker, improved operational software in the network centric warfare, in close coordination with the Services.
BrahMos the world's best supersonic cruise missile has evolved out of the joint efforts of Indian and Russian scientists, under the joint venture company BrahMos Aerospace, DRDO and NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia along with a consortium of Indian and Russian industries. The company came into existence consequent to an Inter-Governmental agreement signed between the two countries in Feb. 1998. The acronym BrahMos is perceived as the confluence of two great nations represented by two great rivers, the fury of River Brahmaputra of India and the grace of River Moscowa of Russia. The aim is to design, develop, produce and market the Supersonic Cruise Missile, BrahMos
The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound. It can carry warheads up to 200 kg in weight and has a maximum range of 290 km. The missile is capable of being launched from multiple platforms based on land, sea, sub-sea and air. The modular design of the missile and its capability of being launched at different orientations enables it to be integrated with a wide spectrum of platforms like warships, submarines, different types of aircraft, Mobile Autonomous Launcher and silos.