India wants Russian JV BrahMos missile warship deployment

Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- India wants its joint venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles installed on Russian warships.

Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony bluntly delivered that message Tuesday when Russian Defense Minister Dmitry Rogozin visited India.

Antony said in New Delhi that the Russia should induct the BrahMos missile into its fleet so the success of the joint venture will be fully appreciated.

Antony delivered his assessment while addressing "Partnership Day," which marked the 15th anniversary of signing of an agreement between India and Russia for the formation of BrahMos joint venture.

He said Indian air force will shortly be able to mount BrahMos missiles on both land and air platforms, making it a genuine force multiplier for all the wings of the Indian armed forces, Zhurnal BSR website reported Wednesday.

Antony's observations updated those that he made nearly seven months ago, also during meetings in New Delhi with Rogozin. At the time Rogozin said, "BrahMos is not only a successful joint venture but also a model for cooperation which has immense political value for our two countries."

BrahMos cruise missiles are being fitted for deployment on 40 Indian air force Russian-supplied Sukhoi-30MKI combat aircraft, as the land- and ship-launched BrahMos variants have completed testing.

The aerial version of the BrahMos missile was recently displayed at the recent Aero India show at Bangalore, where a model of the hypersonic BrahMos 2 variant under development was also shown.

The Russian Federation and India have already agreed to broaden cooperation on developing the next generation air-launched hypersonic BrahMos 2 missile, capable of speeds of 3,800-5,300 mph.

Indian analysts have developed four possible reasons for Russian reluctance to deploy BrahMos:

First, it parallels missile systems already deployed.

Secondly, unlike India, the Russian navy isn't currently commissioning new warships until the new Gorshkov class frigates go online.

Thirdly, many Russian experts view BrahMos as a downgraded Yakhont supersonic cruise missile already deployed with the Russian armed forces, so why should the Russian military choose to deploy it?

Finally, the Russian cannot incorporate JV lessons from the BrahMos because everything for the missile is out-sourced from Russia. The missile's target acquisition software, guidance, navigation and fire control systems are all Indian contributions to the JV, along with the firing mechanisms.

Despite the disagreements, a smaller model of the BrahMos cruise missile is being developed for arming the Indian air force's fighters, to accommodate the air force's front-line aircraft, including the Russian-built Sukhoi-30MKI, the French-built Mirage 2000 and future fighter purchases.

Indian air force Air Chief Marshal N. A. K. Browne said, "Dr. A.S. Pillai (of the joint Russian-Indian BrahMos joint venture) has assured us that BrahMos will be developing a miniaturized version of the missile for our other aircraft and future inductions."

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