Buy jointly built Brahmos missile, India to tell Russia

November 14th, 2007 - 2:17 am ICT by admin  
New Delhi, Oct 15 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony’s four-day visit to Moscow, beginning tomorrow, is expected to reinvigorate defence cooperation between both countries and it is likely that New Delhi would make efforts to persuade Moscow to induct the jointly developed supersonic cruise missile Brahmos.

India has been a long time buyer of military hardware from Moscow. A return gesture from Russia would go a long way in strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.

During the visit, India and Russia are expected to sign a protocol for the development of fifth generation aircraft, in addition to preparing the ground for Russia to acquire the Brahmos missiles.

Presently, Russia is legally bound to induct only those weapon systems that have been indigenously developed by them and as Brahmos is a joint venture of India and Russia so they have been unable to induct them.

Top officials of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have said that Russia has been willing to induct Brahmos missiles, which are considered technically superior than US’ cruise missiles.

Antony will be visiting the Tactical Missile Corporation (TMC), which is one of the largest Russian defence enterprise, and Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) during his visit.

Talks on developing a hypersonic version of the Brahmos cruise missile are also expected to take place as efforts are on to make the transition from planning stage to implementation stage.

The plan is awaiting a nod from the Indian and the Russian governments.

The hypersonic missiles would approximately move five times faster than the present cruise missile, sources in the DRDO said.

The present supersonic Brahmos cruise missile, which can be launched from any platform, can attain the speed of Mach 2.8 (2.8 times the speed of sound) and is about three times faster than the subsonic US’ Tomahawk cruise missile.

Though the range of Brahmos at present is close to 300 kms, it is quite logical that hypersonic version would have longer range.

The 7th India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission (IRIGC) on Military Technical Cooperation which will co-chaired by Antony and his Russian counterpart, Serdyukov Anatoliy Eduardovich, assumes significance in the wake of India agreeing to increase the escalation cost of Russian weapon systems as demanded by Russia.

Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved five percent escalation instead of 2.8 percent as agreed between the two countries earlier.

Recently, Russia had demanded the escalation rate that had led to former Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt to visit Moscow to sort out things.

The stalemate over the issue of escalation of cost had resulted in a slowdown in the defence imports from Russia and had affected Indian Air Force’s acquisition of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, early delivery of Gorshkov aircraft carrier and supply of T-90 tanks.

However, with India acceding to some of the demands of Russia, it would help in removing the irritants that had developed between the two countries in recent months.

The fifth generation fighter aircraft would help India to have air power stealth almost equivalent to the US.

Recently, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal F H Major had said that it would take at least five years from now before the first fifth generation aircraft makes its maiden flight.

The defence ties between India and Russia are termed ‘time-tested’ and close to 70 percent of India’s inventory is directly or indirectly related to Russia. (ANI)

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