MoD inks Rs 1,700-cr pact for dual-role BrahMos missiles

The Ministry of Defence on Thursday signed a Rs 1,700-crore deal with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) for acquisition of dual-role capable surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles for deployment on warships of the Indian Navy.

“Providing further impetus to atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in defence production, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) signed a contract with BAPL for acquisition of additional dual-role capable surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles at an overall approximate cost of Rs 1,700 crore under the ‘buy-Indian’ category. Induction of these dual-role capable missiles is going to significantly enhance the operational capability of Indian Navy fleet assets,” said a statement from the MoD on Thursday.

A combination of the names of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Mashinostroyenia of Russia. The first test launch of the initial version of Brahmos took place in 2001. Various types of the BrahMos, including those which can be fired from land, warships and the Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, have already been developed and successfully tested and inducted since then.

The MoD further said: “It is notable that BAPL is making crucial contribution to augment the new generation surface-to-surface missiles with enhanced range and dual-role capability for land as well as anti-ship attacks. This contract is going to give further boost to indigenous production of critical weapon system and ammunition with active participation of indigenous industry.”

BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine. Its first stage brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in cruise phase. The missile has a very low radar signature, making it stealthy, and can achieve a variety of trajectories. The ‘fire and forget’ type missile can achieve a cruising altitude of 15 km and a terminal altitude as low as 10m to hit the target. The enhanced range version of the missile has a range of 4,000km, as compared to the original range of 290km.

Cruise missiles such as BrahMos, called ‘standoff range weapons’, which are fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive fire from the adversary. These weapons are in the arsenal of most major militaries in the world.

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