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Indian Navy’s New BrahMos deal

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March 07, 2024

Why in news?

India’s decision to acquire 200 BrahMos Extended Range (ER) supersonic cruise missiles for its naval fleet represents a significant development in the country's defense capabilities.

BrahMos Missile

  • BrahMos Aerospace- It is a joint venture between India and Russia founded in 1998 with the aim to develop, design, manufacture and market world’s only supersonic cruise missile system-BrahMos.
  • Ownership-India holds a 50.5% stake, while Russia holds a 49.5% share in the venture.
  • Origin- The BrahMos missile itself is derived from the Russia’s P-800 Oniks (also known as Yakhont ) missile, which was first tested in 1990s.
  • Brahmos missile- Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra (India) and Moskva (Russia), it is a is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile.
  • Indian Navy- The base version of the missile has been part of the Indian Navy’s arsenal since 2005.
  • Indian Army- Since 2007, the Army has utilized the missile’s vertical launch configuration for mobile autonomous launchers.
  • Indian Air Force- Recently inducted, the Air Force has integrated the BRAHMOS-ER missiles onto its Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.
  • In 2023 Ministry of Defence had signed a deal with BrahMos Aerospace for procuring long range missiles and maritime mobile coastal batteries for the Indian Navy.
  • The Indian Navy’s warships or destroyers of the
    • Vishakhapatnam class (Vishakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal),
    • Kolkata class (Kolkata, Kochi, Chennai),
    • Delhi class (Delhi, Mysore, Mumbai),
    • Rajput class (Ranvir, Ranvijay) and
  • Frigates of the
    • Shivalik class (Shivalik, Satpura, Sahyadri) and
    • Talwar class (Teg, Tarkash and Trikand) are already equipped with BrahMos missiles.
  • BrahMos Indigenisation plan- Indian Navy has a 15 year plan in place to boost Indian manufacturing of weapons including the BrahMos missile.
  • Indigenous capacity- In 1998, the indigenous capacity of the BrahMos project was only 13% which was increased to 75% in 2023.

What is the significance of BrahMos Extended Range Missile?

  • Enhanced naval defence capability- The BrahMos ER missiles are poised to become the primary surface-to-surface missiles for the Indian Navy, offering enhanced range, capabilities and versatility.
  • Two-stage design-
    • First stage- It features a solid propellant booster which provides initial thrust during launch.
    • Second Stage- It employs a liquid-fuel fired ramjet engine which propels the missile beyond supersonic speeds.
  • Speed- In the last test-firing conducted by the Indian Navy, the BRAHMOS-ER achieved a remarkable speed of 2.8 Mach, which is nearly three times the speed of sound.
  • Fire and forget principle- The missile operates on this principle, once launched it can autonomously track and hit its target without external intervention.
  • Modernization-The decision to replace older missiles underscores the India’s commitment to modernizing its naval defence arsenal
  • Multi-domain launch capabilities- The BrahMos ER's ability to be launched from sea, land, or air enhances India's operational flexibility and strategic reach.

brahmos

  • Service integration- Integration with different branches of the military (Navy, Army, and Air Force) further emphasizes its versatility and adaptability to diverse mission requirements.
  • Extended target capabilities-.While the base version of the BrahMos missile had a range of 290 km, the BRAHMOS-ER has been extended to an impressive range of 800-900 km allowing naval vessels to engage targets at a greater distance
  • Accuracy- The missile’s cruising altitude (up to 15km) and low radar signature combined with supersonic speeds, make it a formidable asset that reportedly cannot be intercepted by existing weapon systems.
  • Enhanced precision- BrahMos missile features an indigenous seeker and booster designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which ensures precision and effectiveness in striking distant targets
  • Indigenization- The project has achieved 75% indigenous capacity, with over 200 Indian industries involved, enhancing self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
  • Compliance with MTCR- BrahMos ER comply with Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) norms demonstrates India’s commitment to international agreements.
  • Strategic partnership- The BrahMos project, a joint venture between India and Russia exemplifies successful international collaboration in defence technology by strengthening diplomatic ties between two nations.
  • Successful tests- The successful tests across various domains (air, sea and land) underscores the missile’s reliability and operational readiness.

Quick facts

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

  • Aim- To limit the spread of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks.
  • Launch year- 1987
  • Establishment- By the G-7 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States).
  • Member countries- 35
  • India- It is a part of the regime since 2016.
  • Restrictions- The regime urges the member countries to restrict their exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers or delivering any type of weapon of mass destruction.

 

References

  1. The Hindu- Indian Navy’s new BrahMos deal
  2. Indian Express- Cabinet Committee to procure BrahMos for Navy
  3. BrahMos- BrahMos aerospace
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