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Work on BrahMos 'hypersonic' missile to start soon

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Russia today decided to work together on the development of hypersonic version of BrahMos missile and have set up a working group in this regard.

The decision was taken at the 8th inter-governmental commission (IGC) for military and technology cooperation meeting here in Delhi.

The new version would be an improvement on the already-developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

"India and Russia have today agreed to set up a joint working group (JWG) for the development of a hypersonic version of the Brahmos missile," BrahMos Aerospace Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, said at a function to mark the Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's official visit to BrahMos Complex this afternoon.

The first meeting of the Indo-Russian JWG on the hypersonic version of BrahMos missile would be held in November this year.

"Our first meeting would be held in Moscow and after that work on the new version of BrahMos will start," Pillai said.

Talking about the integration of the supersonic missile on the Russian Su-30 aircraft, Pillai said the work in this regard was in progress in both India and Russia.

Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal NAK Browne, who was present on the occasion, said the missile would be integrated with the latest version of Su-30s.

"The missile would be fitted on Su-30 MKI Block III, which are being inducted in the IAF since last year. The induction of these aircraft would be completed by 2010," Browne said.

Serdyukov termed the BrahMos project as an important milestone in Indo-Russian military cooperation. During the visit to the BrahMos Aerospace, Serdyukov was taken around the complex to showcase the past and future journey of the missile, termed as the "most advanced" in its class.

The partner countries also have plans to export the missile to "friendly" countries.

BrahMos missiles' production rate is likely to be increased with the Defence Ministry taking over a Kerala-based Public Sector Undertaking for the purpose recently.

The futuristic BrahMos hypersonic missile will have a speed of Mach 5 with a range of 290 km.

The Indian Army inducted the supersonic version of the missile last year, while the Indian Navy platforms inducted it in 2005.

BrahMos would be the main cruise missile on all its future battle ships, be it destroyers or frigates. On larger Naval ships, there would be scope for having 16 missiles on board, with eight missiles each in two vertical launchers.


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