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BrahMos JV sets 'gold standard' for defence projects: Expert


MOSCOW (BNS): Indian-Russian Joint Venture BrahMos can be seen as the 'gold standard' for joint military manufacturing programmes, said Konstantin Makiyenko, a Russian military expert.

Today, India and Russia have two joint defence projects, the BrahMos programme for designing, producing and marketing supersonic cruise missile system, and a project for building the MTA multi-role medium transport aircraft.

According to Konstantin Makiyenko, while the МТА programme has not yet shown any impressive progress, BrahMos JV is effectively combining such factors as commercial profit for Russian and Indian partners, a tangible improvement in the combat ability of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, and development of new technologies, which is particularly important for India.

"The project's most valuable result is the accumulated experience of resolving difficult legislative, organisational and financial problems. In the future, this experience will be used for new joint programmes, including for the FGFA project," Makiyenko told Russian daily Kommersant.

"What makes this programme so unique is that India is, in fact, buying one of its first standardised weapons systems that can be deployed by all three armed services - the Army, the Navy and the Air Force," he added.

The Indian Navy was the first customer for the BRAHMOS missile system. The Navy is currently planning to deploy the missile on submarines.

The Indian Army is procuring BRAHMOS missiles in the mobile land-based configuration. Makiyenko in his article said that, the Indian Army ordered 134 mobile anti-ship land-based BRAHMOS Block I missiles in 2006-2009 and another 240 land-attack BRAHMOS Block II in 2010, to a total of about 3 billion US dollars.

The Indian Air Force is awaiting completion of research and development for an air-launched version of BRAHMOS, to be deployed primarily on Su-30 MKI fighters, with first deliveries expected in 2012.

Makiyenko also said that, "the success of the BrahMos programme has boosted Russia’s chances of promoting its air and naval platforms on the Indian market in such a way that the Rubin Design Bureau is creating a special version of Russia’s new Project 677 (Аmur class) submarine to carry BRAHMOS anti-ship missiles as its main weapon system. This raises the submarine’s chance of winning India’s tender for six submarines worth up to $10 billion."

Finally, the BrahMos Aerospace joint venture has become a vehicle for further Russian-Indian projects, on an even larger scale and with greater Indian participation. The company is known to be already working on a new hypersonic missile. The unique experience accumulated since 1998 as part of the BrahMos project has paved the way for even more ambitious goals, including new strategic ballistic and cruise missiles, he concluded.

Source: [Konstantin Makiyenko] - Kommersant and Russia & India Report.

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