India and Russia have agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile.
Sources in the government told FE on Thursday that several structural changes were made in the defence exports policy and these were yielding results. “As far as the BrahMos missile is concerned, talks with countries like UAE, Chile, South Africa and Vietnam are in advanced stages.”
“Since Russia is the partner country in the BrahMos joint venture with its consent discussions with several other countries, including Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, Venezuela and Bulgaria have now been taken to the next level,” revealed the source.
While defence minister Manohar Parrikar will be visiting Vietnam soon, where the talks for closing deal with the ASEAN member country could be discussed, the source revealed that by the year end, “ the BrahMos Aerospace is expected to ink the deal with UAE by the year end as both India and Russia have good relations with the country and there is conflict of interest there, hence there will no problems in exporting the missile to that country.”
In the case of Vietnam, China has expressed its reservations against India’s policies to supply weapons. In the South China Sea, China and Vietnam are locked in a conflict over maritime boundaries.
The Indo-Russian joint venture will soon be testing it cruise missiles on Russian Su-30 Flanker C multi-role fighter aircraft for which the ground tests are already done. “We expect that those friendly nations with whom neither India nor Russia have any conflict would be keen on buying these missiles,” he said.
BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India. They have formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited to make the missile. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
As reported by FE earlier, the Indian government has been receiving proposals for BrahMos from countries as diverse as Vietnam to Chile. The missile system has caught the attention of a number of countries in the Latin America such BRICS member South Africa, and other countries in that region including Venezuela, Chile, as it has been developed at a low budget of $300 million.