India in R6,000-crore JV with Russia for BrahMos air version

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 17 2012, 09:36am hrs
India has inked a Rs 6,000-crore joint venture with Russia under which the latter will supply 200 high-precision supersonic cruise missile BrahMos to the IAF. In its wake, India has set up another manufacturing and system integration plant in Thiruvananthapuram to boost production of the missiles.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) recently approved the air version of the BrahMos. Both the Indian Army and Navy have already inducted BrahMos land and sea versions in their respective inventory.

Officials told FE, "This is the second manufacturing and integration facility inaugurated in Kerala.

The Indo-Russian BrahMos integrated in Kerala will be retrofitted on the Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jets. The integration of the air version of the missile will be done by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), and the tests are scheduled for December. The air version of the missile, with a range of 290 km, is shorter than the other variants already in use. The releasing equipment for the missile, manufactured at the Thiruvananthapuram facility, is under trial.

Two Su-30MKI of the IAF would also be modified by the HAL at its Nashik facility where they will be integrated with the aerial launcher developed by BrahMos, they said. The BrahMos missiles integrated on the Su-30s will help IAF achieve the capability to deliver a deadly blow to enemy formations from stand-off ranges of around 300 km. BrahMos Aerospace, is also expecting a new order from the Indian Army for its latest steep dive capable missiles regiment soon.

The new regiment is for mountainous terrain such as the northeastern states or Jammu & Kashmir. The joint venture with Russia to develop BrahMos, which takes its name from Brahmaputra and Moskova rivers, changed Indias position from arms importer to co-developer.