Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, co-produced by India and Russia, has been inducted into the Navy and will soon be part of the other wings of the armed forces.
Singh, who visited the BrahMos Aerospace complex to get acquainted with the advanced missile system, said this programme would be the harbinger of more active cooperation between public and private enterprises.
"This world-class cruise missile has been inducted by the Indian Navy and will be followed soon by other gallant armed forces," the Prime Minister said, addressing a gathering of top officers, scientists and engineers from India and Russia and representatives from industrial units involved in the missile's production.
Singh's visit came close on the heels of a missile exercise he witnessed from on board the aircraft carrier INS Viraat in the Arabian Sea last month.
Describing Russia as a "traditional and trusted" supplier of defence systems, Singh said a new meaning has emerged through this successful strategic partnership by elevating ties to the joint design, development and production of weapons.
"India is now operating on the frontiers of modern science and technology. The shining example of mastery over complex processes of technology is this joint venture project, BrahMos...This has become a shining example of successful international cooperation," he said.
Singh, who was at the complex for an hour, was shown the weapon system comprising the launch vehicle and the mobile command post as well as the complete launch sequence. The missile, which can be launched from a ship, a submarine and a warplane, has a strike range of 290 km and a speed of nearly 3,500 km an hour.
Lauding the scientists, engineers and officers of the armed forces for conceptualising and articulating the research and development of the missile project, Singh said he was delighted by the involvement of a large number of public and private industries in the development of the BrahMos.
BrahMos derives its names from the Brahmaputra and Moscow rivers.
Singh said the BrahMos was rated one of the most advanced cruise missiles in the world and referred to the role played by President APJ Abdul Kalam, the father of India's missile programme, in shaping the venture.
During his interaction, the Prime Minister also highlighted the considerable export potential of the BrahMos missile system.
India, he said, was involved in the missile's development right from the design stage. The BrahMos programme, he said, would open new pathways in other fields of Indo-Russian cooperation.
While thanking the Russian government and its industry for their unstinted support, Singh had a special word of appreciation for the large number of young scientists involved in the programme.
BrahMos chief A Sivathanu Pillai and Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister M Natarajan briefed the Prime Minister about the missile's advanced fire control and guidance systems, which make BrahMos unique.
Singh also saw a film that included the launch of the weapon system from a mobile launcher and the destroyer INS Rajput. The documentary showed a full simulation of future launch platforms -- Sukhoi-30 warplanes, submarines and underground silos.