Russia and India perfect BrahMos


MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Andrei Kislyakov) - Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov arrives in India on February 12 for the opening ceremony of the Year of Russia in India.

A joint project, years in the making, the Year of Russia in India will inject further momentum into military-technical cooperation between the two countries, an area that is already leading Russian-Indian business relations.

Military cooperation is based on the latest achievements in the defense industry. A case in point is the BrahMos-2, a new tactical cruise missile named after India's Brahmaputra River and Russia's Moskva River. In the coming five years the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, founded in 1998, will produce the missile for India's Defense Ministry.

At five times the speed of sound, the BrahMos-2 is fast enough to overcome any air defense system. More than 20 Russian plants and design bureaus, including the leading Russian missile producers Strela and Mashinostroyeniye research and production association, will be involved in the production of the new weapon.

The main feature of this missile is its versatility: it can be based on vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft. In other words, the BrahMos missile can be supplied to every branch of the armed forces.

On June 21 of last year India's Ground Forces received their first BrahMos-1 missile, mounted on a Tatra truck chassis. A series of successful test launches had already confirmed the high combat qualities and effectiveness of the new weapon.

The Indian Defense Ministry announced on January 1 that the missile would be soon supplied to the Air Force for Russian-built multi-role Su-30MKI fighters. The Indian Navy received the BrahMos-1 in 2006.

The BrahMos-1 has a range of 290 kilometers, a cruise speed of 920 meters per second, and carries an up to 300-kilogram warhead.

The BrahMos is the descendent of a well-known Russian predecessor, the Yakhont anti-ship cruise missile developed by the Mashinostryeniye research and production association in the early 1980s. It was designed to fight against surface naval groups and single ships in conditions of strong enemy opposition and radio-electronic warfare.

Unlike previous Russian anti-ship missiles, which had a relatively narrow carrier specialization, the Yakhont was designed for launch from submarines, surface vessels, aircraft and shore batteries. In its versatility the missile was designed to surpass the American Harpoon, at that time the best foreign anti-ship missile.

The BrahMos missile has inherited all the best characteristics of its Russian predecessor: over the horizon (OTH) range, self-sustainability (fire-and-forget principle), a set of flexible ('low', 'high-low') trajectories, supersonic velocity at all stages of flight, full commonality for various carriers, and the ability to avoid detection by radar.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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