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Indian army orders additional BrahMos cruise missiles

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The Indian army has ordered an additional batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles from the Russian-Indian BrahMos Aerospace joint venture, the company's CEO said Tuesday.
NEW DELHI, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Indian army has ordered an additional batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles from the Russian-Indian BrahMos Aerospace joint venture, the company's CEO said Tuesday.

"The army leadership realizes that weaponry such as the BrahMos missiles will ensure victory to the country which posses it in any conflict," Sivathanu Pillai, who is also the managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, said without disclosing the exact size of the order.

The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 pounds). It can hit ground targets flying at an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.

Pillai said the recent acquisition of an assembly plant in the state of Kerala from Kerala Hightech Industries Ltd in addition to the main plant in Hyderabad, would allow the company to increase production to 50 BrahMos missiles a year and fulfill the army orders on schedule.

Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace designs, produces and markets supersonic missiles, whose sea-based and land-based versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian army and navy.

Pillai said in June that the company had finished the development of the airborne version of the BrahMos missile and the Indian air force had chosen SU-30 MKI Flanker-H multirole fighter as a trial platform for the missile.

Experts estimate that India could purchase up to 1,000 BrahMos missiles for its armed forces in the next decade, and export 2,000 to other countries during the same period.

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