Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday favoured more interfaces of the type between an Indian-Russian joint venture and industry for building a cruise missile if the country was to develop world-class defence products.
Speaking to scientists, industrialists and service personnel from Russia and India after his maiden visit to a facility in New Delhi where the BrahMos missile is being developed, Antony said the weapon had boosted the country's defence preparedness with its speed, precision and power.
He urged the quick development of the air version of the missile for its early induction into the Indian Air Force. The Indian Army and the Indian Navy have already accepted the missile for induction and placed production orders. Serial production of the missile has already begun.
The defence minister spent over two hours at the BrahMos Aerospace Complex and was briefed by its chief A Shivathanu Pillai, joint managing director Alexander Maksichev and other top scientists. A large number of senior officials and technologists, including IAF vice chief Air Marshal BN Gokhale, director general (Artillery) Lt Gen AS Bajwa, representatives from the Russian embassy, senior officers of the three services and captains of various public and private industries involved in the project were present on the occasion.
Antony also visited the BrahMos exposition, where he was shown and briefed about the technological complexity and the superiority of the supersonic cruise missile. The minister was particularly impressed with the capabilities of the missile to be launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air platform.
He also viewed a video demonstration of all the past missile firings.
The minister also visited the BrahMos technology exhibition to witness the full-scale missile hardware and acquainted himself with the process of missile integration, for which elaborate facilities have been established at Hyderabad.
BrahMos has evolved out of the joint efforts of Indian and Russian scientists under the joint venture company BrahMos Aerospace, India's DRDO and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia, along with a consortium of Indian and Russian industries.
The missile can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound, can carry warheads of up to 200 kg, and has a maximum range of 290 km.