Providing impetus to “Aatmanirbharta” (self-reliance) in defence production, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract on Thursday with the Indo-Russian joint venture (JV) – BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) – for buying the latest version of the BrahMos missile for its newest warships.
So far, BrahMos missiles have had a range of 295 kilometres, to adhere to the parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which restricts missile sales involving a non-MTCR country to a maximum range of 300 km.
However, with India’s admission into the MTCR, a new generation of BrahMos missiles, with ranges of 400 km and more, can legitimately be built by the Indo-Russian JV.
The surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles were bought for “an overall approximate cost of ₹1,700 crore under the Buy-Indian category,” stated the MoD on Thursday. These new BrahMos missiles will be “dual-role capable”, announced the Navy, which means that its warships can fire them at targets on land, as well as at enemy warships.
“It is notable that BAPL [is] making a crucial contribution to augment the new generation surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) with enhanced range and dual role capability for land as well as anti-ship attacks,” stated the MoD after signing the contract.
“These missiles are going to significantly enhance the operational capability of Indian Navy (IN) fleet assets,” it said.
BrahMos Aerospace JV was established through an Indo-Russian Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) in February 1998 for designing, developing, producing and marketing the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
The JV’s share capital of $250 million was contributed by India and Russia in the ratio of 50.5 per cent and 49.5 per cent, respectively. The share capital was enhanced by $50 million to pay for developing the aircraft version of the missile, which is fired from the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter.
Additionally, the Defence R&D Organisation also contributed Rs 370 crore towards the infrastructure, technologies and production facilities for building the missile system.