Second phase of Brahmos development programme to be launched Tuesday

February 9th, 2009 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 9 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony will launch the second phase of the cruise missile maker Brahmos Aerospace’s development programme here Tuesday, a top official said Monday.

In the second phase, Rs.750 million (Rs.75 crore) would be invested, A. Sivathanu Pillai, managing director and chief executive of the Brahmos Aerospace unit here, told reporters.

Brahmos, an Indo-Russian joint venture, acquired Kerala Hitech Industries Ltd (Keltec) in December 2007 and announced Rs.1.25-billion (Rs.125-crore) investment in the first phase of the development programme.

In a short span of one year, Brahmos Aerospace grew from Rs.70 million turnover to Rs.260 million this fiscal, Pillai said.

He added that the unit will also get AS9100 Certification next month.

“Now it’s cleared and we would get Aerospace 9100 Certification, a must for any unit to engage in the aero space industry if it has to undertake orders from external agencies. The certification will come next month,” said Pillai.

“Our main customers today include DRDO and ISRO (Indian Space Research ORganisation) for which we have supplied all the robotic arms. Another major achievement of this unit is that we supplied the main body of the Shaurya - new surface-to-surface missile that was fired recently,” he added.

Brahmos, the world’s fastest cruise missile is jointly developed by India and Russia and would now be assembled in the unit here in two years.

The Brahmos can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. Brahmos is about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. It has the capability to attack surface targets as low as 10m in altitude and has a maximum range of 290 km.

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