Aero India 2019: New version of BrahMos will attract LatAm countries, say officials

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Updated: February 20, 2019 2:06:07 PM

Brahmos Aerospace is already registered with Chilean Armed Forces, which is mandatory requirement for any company to export defence equipment or weapons system to Chile.

New version of BrahMos will attract LatAm countries, say officials

Aero India 2019, Yelahanka Air Force Station: BrahMos NG, joint venture of India and Russia, due to its shorter dimensions has promising export potential because of its compatibility with most platforms available with the armed forces of export friendly nation to both India and Russia.

This new system opens new possibilities in terms of different platform options which earlier were not been considered due to weight and size limitations.

According to officials, “looking at the interest from Latin American countries, this new version can be good choice for their services.”

Brahmos Aerospace is already registered with Chilean Armed Forces, which is mandatory requirement for any company to export defence equipment or weapons system to Chile. “There has been lot of interest for ship and shore based platforms. With its reduced size BrahMos NG can be accommodated in number of sea and air platforms,” sources informed Financial Express Online.

The countries in the South American region have been sending queries regarding this missile that has been jointly developed with Russia at a budget of $300 million.

At the ongoing Aero India 2019, the company is showcasing its supersonic prowess through land, naval and air platforms. The highlight is that the LCA Tejas is fitted with two BrahMos NG missiles under its wings.

The NG of BrahMos will be smaller, lighter and mightier to its predecessor variant. It will have soles upto Mach 3.5 NG and because its shorter dimensions offer promising export potential, due to its compatibility with most available platforms, with the armed forces of export friendly nation to both India and Russia.

According to diplomatic sources, “The Chilean armed forces are interested in buying the missile. There have been active discussions between the two sides.”

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In fact, to enter the Latin American market, BrahMos has been participating in FIDAE show in Santiago, Chile as well other defence trade shows in the region. Countries in the region have expressed their interest after the successful launch of BrahMos from SU-30 aircraft against a sea target, as many countries in the region have opted for the Sukhoi aircraft.

The Financial Express Online was the first to report that a new and advanced version of BrahMos was being developed. It will be equipped with a compact engine that can reach speed of Mach 3.3. Having range of 300 km, the missile will have capacity to carry a payload of 300 kg.

With weight of 1.4-1.6 tonne and length of 6 metre, the BrahMos-NG (next generation) will be a breakthrough, meeting requirements of both the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

BrahMos is expanding production capacity to meet expected demand for thousands of missiles. “Our second manufacturing facility is ready and additional facilities are coming up,” Praveen Pathak, general manager for market promotion and exports, said.

Chile has requirement of shore-based weapon complexes which the BrahMos tested in end-2017 with precision hit target on two consecutive days – one without warhead and the other with warhead.

There is tremendous opportunity for Indian defence companies to participate in the modernisation of Chilean armed forces. Chiefs of the armed forces from both sides have had meetings on exploiting the potential in shipbuilding, radar systems, submarines and joint training.

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.

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Though India has the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, which a number of countries want to buy, however due to lack of clarity in the defence exports policy related to missiles means that it has not yet been sold.

Acknowledging that there have been lot of interest related to the Made in India BrahMos and Akaash Missiles, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that “These have not been exported yet.”

Sources told the Financial Express Online that despite the Indian government receiving proposals for BrahMos from countries as diverse as Indonesia, Vietnam to Chile, discussions are not moving to the next level.

Several Latin American countries have been in talks with officials from BrahMos and expressed interest in mobile autonomous launchers for coastal defence batteries, ship-based weapons complex for submarines and frigates.

India’s eagerness to export homemade items has been more pronounced after the ‘Make in India’ call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also pitches for export of defence items to friendly countries.

The agreement between India and Russia for development of the advanced BrahMos system allows the use of the missile in both countries’ armed forces and export to other friendly countries. Owing to this, countries from Latin America and Southeast Asia have expressed their interest for the missile system.

Defence Public Sector Undertakings have been encouraged to increase their export portfolio to 25% of their turnover by 2022-23. They are also expanding the global footprints to enable them to market to other countries.

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