Indo-Russia defense venture in talks with Saudi Arabia

8 Feb, 2024 09:09 / Updated 4 months ago
BrahMos Aerospace, advanced cruise missile manufacturers, have $7bn in orders from India and other countries

BrahMos Aerospace, a joint India-Russia venture which produces supersonic cruise missiles for maritime, aerial, and land-based platforms, is in talks with Saudi Arabia, TASS news agency reported citing an official at BrahMos. BrahMos Aerospace’s order portfolio has already reached $7 billion, encompassing both domestic and international orders Praveen Pathak, the director of exports, said at the ongoing World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia. 

According to Pathak, the Middle East defense expo has been successful for both Moscow and New Delhi. “We expect several high-level meetings, and we hope that our joint product will be promoted in these regions. There has been a great deal of interest shown here [in Saudi Arabia], and we have previously met with Saudi delegations at other exhibitions. We are very hopeful for these negotiations,” Pathak said.

BrahMos Aerospace also noted at the exhibition that the Indo-Russian joint venture has orders both within India and in other countries, and is actively exploring new markets. 

The company will be shipping the first batch of BrahMos missiles to the Philippines as part of a $375 million deal signed in January 2022. Samir Kamat, the chief of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), told news outlet ANI last week that the BrahMos missiles are “getting a lot of interest” from potential buyers. According to Indian media, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia have also expressed interest in acquiring the missiles.

The company also revealed in Saudi Arabia its plans for flight testing of the new BrahMos-NG cruise missile version, which is expected to commence before the end of next year, marking a significant advancement in India’s next-generation cruise missile capability. “First flight samples of the new BrahMos-NG missile will be collected for flight tests in tandem with the plant’s development, with a target launch date of late 2025 or early 2026,” Pathak said.

The BrahMos-NG will be produced at an upcoming manufacturing facility in Lucknow in northern India. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has recently stated that the new facility will help drastically speed up the manufacturing rate of the missiles, which are currently being produced at the Brahmos Aerospace’s Integration Complex (BIC) in Hyderabad.

Named after the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, the BrahMos missile is the result of collaboration between DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya. Widely deployed by the Indian military, this versatile missile system can engage sea-based and surface targets across air, sea, and sub-sea platforms. The powerful long-range supersonic cruise missile system can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or from land. The missiles originally had a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles), but have been extended to between 450 and 500 kilometers through upgrades.

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