Visiting Russian security chief Nikolai Patrushev on Tuesday expressed satisfaction at the progress in manufacturing the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, saying it was a "bright illustration" of the success Indian and Russian scientists had achieved in the joint venture.
"The BrahMos joint venture is a bright illustration of successful work of Russian and Indian scientists and designers. It is based on highest trust and respect. I wish great successes in future ventures in further strengthening of Russia-India friendship," Patrushev said after visiting the BrahMos complex here.
He was accompanied by a high-power delegation that included Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.
"BrahMos Aerospace chief Dr. A.S. Pillai informed about the progress made by the joint venture in the last 10 years and the possible areas for future collaborations," an official of BrahMos Aerospace said.
Patrushev, who arrived Monday on a two-day visit, has met with his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon to discuss cooperation between the two countries' security services.
He also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed steps to consolidate nuclear cooperation in the wake of the umbrella nuclear accord initialled during the prime minister's trip to Moscow in December last year.
Patrushev visit comes ahead of that of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in March.
The BrahMos missile, which takes its name from the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, has a 300-km range and carries a 300-kg conventional warhead. It can achieve speeds of up to 2.8 Mach or nearly three times the speed of sound.
Cruise missiles fly at low altitudes and have the ability to evade enemy radars and air-defence systems. They are also easier and cheaper to operate.
Each missile system costs nearly Rs.100 million ($2 million) and the BrahMos Aerospace Ltd plans to sell 1,000 of them.
The Indian Army has already begun inducting the land-fired version of the BrahMos, with the first battery entering service in June 2007. Each battery is equipped with four mobile launchers mounted on heavy 12?12 Tatra transporters.
The army plans to induct three more such batteries.
The anti-ship naval version has also been inducted into service with its integration on the destroyer INS Rajput, with two other ships of the same class to be similarly equipped.
The missiles will also be mounted on the three 7,000-tonne Kolkata class destroyers currently being constructed at Mumbai's Mazagon docks.