India is planning to increase its volume of arms export to USD 2 billion in 2019, the Minister of Defence, Manohar Parrikar told at the press conference in New Delhi. “India’s defence industry is driving to the localization of manufacturing, and it allows us to increase the arms export in a rapid manner. In 2014, it reached INR 11 billion [USDI64 million], INR 15.82 billion [USD 236 million] in 2015, and INR 20.6 billion [USD307.5 million] in 2016,” Parrikar emphasized. According to him, there is a task to increase the volume of India’s defence export to USD2 billion by the end of 2019.
The bringing of the Brahmos air-launched variant in service with the Indian Air Force’s Su-30MKI multi-role fighter jets will increase the export potential of the weapon.
The Minister mentioned Vietnam, Mauritius, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Oman, and Afghanistan as actual and potential buyers of the Indian-originated military hardware. India is planning to export bridge laying equipment, missiles, navy combatants, patrol ships, and self-propelled guns to these countries.
Previously, New Delhi offered to Hanoi the delivery of Russian-Indian Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles and indigenous Varunashtra antisubmarine torpedoes. “The negotiations with Vietnam are being continued. India’s MoD is believed to have instructed the Brahmos Aerospace company (a joint venture (JV) between India and Russia) to increase production to meet potential orders from friendly countries, especially those in the Asia-Pacific region. Several countries have expressed keen interest in acquiring the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile system”, – a representative of India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) told EDR.
The bringing of the Brahmos air-launched variant in service with the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Su-30MKI (Flanker-H) multi-role fighter jets will increase the export potential of the weapon. “[Potential] foreign customers have revealed their interest in the Su-30MKI fighter and the Brahmos, and we put high commercial hopes on it”, – the CEO & MD of the Brahmos Aerospace TV, Sudhir Kumar Mishra said.
IAF had asked the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) company in early June 2014 to integrate the Brahmos-A (Air) with the Su-30MKI fighter and initially assigned two aircraft of the type for the modification program. The first modified Su- 30MKI was handed over to the service in February 2015 to prepare for the trials.
The air-launched variant of the Brahmos missiles may be required not only by India, but also by the countries that have already deployed Su- 30MKI fighters.
Brahmos Aerospace has completed the first captive carriage test of its Brahmos-A supersonic cruise missile aboard a modified IAF Sukhoi Su- 30MKI multi-role fighter on June 25, 2016. Conducted at the HAL test facility in the state of Maharashtra, the trial marks an important step in the development of the missile ahead of a series of flight and firing tests. At present, the flight tests of the Brahmos-A are being continued; the launches of the missiles against a surface moving target and a ground target are to be finished by early 2017. Therefore, all requirements by IAF for the deliveries of air-launched missiles will be met after the completion of the aforementioned trials.
According to HAL’s Chairman & Managing Director, T. Suvama Raju, about 40 Su-30MKI fighters are to be modified to carry the Brahmos-A.
The air-launched Brahmos – developed jointly by Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – is a modified variant of its basic configuration. It features several design refinements, which include a lighter propulsion system (reduced to 2,500kg from 3,000kg) as well as redesigned fins and nose cap. The test’s primary objectives were to demonstrate the integration and carriage of a dummy missile and simulate all the integration activities that will occur in actual flight tests, according to Brahmos Aerospace.
The air-launched variant of the Brahmos missiles may be required not only by India, but also by the countries that have already deployed Su- 30MKI fighters. However, taking in consideration the Brahmos missiles brought in service with Land Forces and Navy, the number of potential foreign customers may be higher. Moreover, the Brahmos Aerospace company has developed and successfully tested a missile intended for submarines. India recently announced that it plans to export its Brahmos missiles to a number of potential customers. At present, the Brahmos is capable of being fired from warships and land-based mobile launchers.
The successful integration of the air-launched Brahmos in the IAF in the near future will immensely boost the air power and make it even mightier for taking on the enemy both in the sky and on the ground.
The land-attack and anti-ship variants of Brahmos have already been successfully developed and deployed by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The successful integration of the air-launched Brahmos in the IAF in the near future will immensely boost the air power and make it even mightier for taking on the enemy both in the sky and on the ground. While three Brahmos regiments consisting of the advanced Block-III configuration with supersonic steep dive capability have made their way into the Army, the government has announced the induction of many more regiments in the Army which will upgrade its air defence capabilities. In 2016, the Government of India also sanctioned induction of additional Brahmos missiles, with steep dive capability and 290-km range, in the Eastern sector to ramp up its capabilities. The weapon’s accuracy in mountain warfare mode was recently re-established in a campaign conducted by the Indian Army in the Eastern Sector in 2015.
Speaking to IHS Jane’s at the Defence Services Asia 2016 (DSA 2016) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Mishra said that sales of Brahmos cruise missiles, which have been developed for land, sea and air applications, will be strictly governed by New Delhi. “It is for the government of India to come out with a policy for the export of the missile,” he said. “Our defence minister [Manohar Parrikar] is speaking many encouraging words about exports, and I can say, yes, export is very much possible in the near future,” – he said.
“The idea is to showcase the missile to potential buyers and we feel that many countries in the region would be interested [in the missile] and would talk with the government of India [about exports]. India has the Look East policy, and this calls for closer collaboration between our countries,” – Mishra added.
In a bid to support such international sales, Mishra also revealed that Brahmos Aerospace has secured agreements from major submarine designers to supply submarine design and specification data to the company so that it can integrate the missile into their platforms. “With Indian government approval,” he said, “we are ready to integrate the missile into submarines for any potential exports.”
Brahmos supersonic cruise missile with a fine combination of speed, precision and power, has three times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range…
Several South-East-Asian and Latin American countries want the Brahmos, or have at least expressed interest in it, particularly for the naval and coastal defence versions. A definite list of such countries, friendly to both India & Russia as stipulated in the Inter-Governmental Agreement, already exists. The company is progressing with its marketing strategy for exporting Brahmos to certain nations. But the decision to export will be taken only after the approval of the government. Once finalized, Brahmos is set to give a major fillip to India’s military export ambition in near future.
Brahmos supersonic cruise missile with a fine combination of speed, precision and power, has three times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range and nine times more kinetic energy than any existing subsonic cruise missiles. The multi-platform, multi-target cruise missile, carrying a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kg, is capable of flying up to 290 km at a top speed of 2.8 Mach.
The Joint Venture, Brahmos Aerospace was formed between India’s DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya through a government-to- government agreement signed in 1998. The company was established with capital of USD 250 million with India owning 50.5% of equity and g Russia the remaining 49.5% stake. The company has secured agreements to sell the missile to the Indian “8 Armed Forces, but has yet to won any international orders. The successful Brahmos JV has redefined the OJ business of selling military products from a purely buyer-seller relationship to joint research, design, development, production and marketing of state-of-the-art military systems.
First Published in EDR Magazine (Issue January / February 2017)