New Delhi will start exporting long-range supersonic missiles co-developed with Moscow to Manila next month
India is gearing up to export BrahMos – a long-range supersonic missile jointly developed with Russia – to the Philippines, a top government official disclosed on Thursday. The move comes amid New Delhi’s push to boost domestic arms production and increase exports to other nations.
The $375 million deal, signed in January 2022, will involve sending missiles to the country shortly, Samir Kamat, the chief of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), told news outlet ANI. “[The BrahMos’] ground systems should be sent very soon, in the next ten days,” he said, suggesting that the rest of the components would be transported in March.
Kamat added that BrahMos missiles are “getting a lot of interest” from potential buyers. According to media reports, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia have also expressed interest in acquiring the missiles.
The DRDO chief also mentioned that foreign countries have indicated they would like to purchase other India-made defense hardware, including ‘Akash’, a missile system that can target aircraft up to 45km (27 miles) away. “I am sure over the coming years, exports are going to become a very important part of our portfolio,” he added.
The BrahMos is a joint collaboration between New Delhi and Moscow that began in the late 1990s. The powerful long-range supersonic cruise missile system can be launched from submarines, ships, and aircraft or from land. The missiles originally had a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles), which was subsequently extended to between 450 and 500 kilometers through upgrades.
The BrahMos is widely used by the Indian Navy. Warships currently patrolling the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden amid tensions in the Red Sea, where Houthi rebels are attacking the passing merchant vessels, are believed to be equipped with these missiles. BrahMos will also form the crux of India’s planned Integrated Rocket Force (IRF), aimed at non-contact conventional warfare to counter China’s rapidly expanding missile and nuclear forces.
On Friday, India’s Uttar Pradesh state will display the BrahMos as a part of its tableau at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, as a new manufacturing unit for production of these missiles is under construction in the state’s capital, Lucknow. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has stated that the new facility will help drastically speed up the manufacturing rate of the missiles, which are currently being manufactured at the Brahmos Aerospace’s Integration Complex (BIC) in Hyderabad in the southern state of Telangana.