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'BrahMos Reaching Next Level Of Technology'

Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO and managing director, BrahMos, talks to Businessworld’s Brij Pahwa about the BrahMos venture

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Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO and managing director, BrahMos, talks to Businessworld’s Brij Pahwa about the BrahMos venture. Edited excerpts:

Tell us how the idea for the BrahMos missile was conceived and also about the joint venture that gave birth to it.
BrahMos has successfully travelled from “mind to market” in a spectacular journey within a very short span of time. The BrahMos joint venture was established between India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPOM in February 1998 to design and develop a high-speed, high-precision, ‘fire & forget’ tactical weapon. With the excellent scientific and technical cooperation between the two partnering nations, BrahMos was conceived, designed, developed and successfully test-fired for the first time in June 2001. Today, BrahMos boasts of being a universal, versatile, state-of-the-art weapon capable of being launched from multiple platforms for multiple missions. The JV has established a robust military industrial complex in both India and Russia in which a large number of public and private sector industries, laboratories, and institutions are developing, producing and supplying numerous systems and components for the BrahMos weapon system.

What are the existing variants of BrahMos and what new variants are you planning to launch?

For the Army, we have developed the mobile land-attack BrahMos with block-I, block-II and block-III configurations for different missions. For the Navy, both the anti-ship and land-attack variants have been developed and deployed. The Indian Air Force has deployed the mobile land-attack version of the weapon.

The newer variants of the weapon would be BrahMos-NG, a smaller, smarter version of existing BrahMos and BrahMos -II (K), the hypersonic missile with a top of speed of mach 5-7. We are also working on developing an advanced block-IV configuration missile for the army which will have a 90-degree steep dive attack capability. Such a missile could also be used as a “carrier-killer”, if need be.

How do you plan to sell the missile internationally and to which countries?
The inter-governmental agreement (IGA) that was signed between India and Russia in February 1998 made provision for exporting BrahMos to third countries which are friendly to both the partnering nations. The world over, weapon are exported on a government-to-government basis. It is for the Indian government to decide whom it wants to export to. So, export is on our priority list and we are negotiating with a number of countries at present to sell our weapon. BrahMos Aerospace has excellent production facilities and supply chain management to meet export quantity.