The supersonic BrahMos missile might soon find place in the arsenal of four countries in three continents.
India and Russia have reportedly agreed ‘in principle’ on exporting the jointly developed missile to Chile, South Africa, UAE and Vietnam.
The BrahMos and proposed BrahMos M/NG (below) at an exhibition. Wikipedia Commons
According to this report
, the government has made certain changes in the defence exports policy to facilitate the sale of the missile the four countries. Talks regarding the sales are at an advanced stage.
A BrahMos missile fired from INS Kolkata. Imgur
But the four countries are not the only markets Russia and India are eyeing. The countries are in also holding talks with Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, Venezuela and Bulgaria for exporting BrahMos – the world’s fastest cruise missile.
UAE, Chile, South Africa and Vietnam have close ties with both Moscow and New Delhi. And on May 23, US President Barack Obama lifted the weapons embargo off Vietnam.
That move is aimed at checking the rise of China’s influence in the South China Sea.
A deal for the sale of BrahMos to Vietnam might be in the offing during the visit of Indian Defence Ministr Manohar Parrikar to Hanoi early in June. Parrikar will be accompanied by a delegation of representatives of Indian arms companies. Selling of BrahMos to Vietnam would elevate India’s diplomatic ties with the country to another level. India has is also looking at selling four offshore naval patrol vessels to Vietnam.
China, of course, has been opposing India’s decision of selling arms to Vietnam due to the ongoing South China Sea dispute.
But China’s own policy of arming India’s neighbours, particularly hostile ones such as Pakistan, has spurred this change in New Delhi’s defence policy.
Indian Army BrahMos missile carriers. Wikipedia Commons
It is expected that the BrahMos deal with the UAE will be finalized later this year. A single BrhaMos missile costs Rs.30 crore approximately. India and Russia use all three variants of the BrahMos – Air, Sea, and Land. The missile has a range of 290 kms and flies at Mach 3 speed (or three times that of sound). The missile has a very low radar cross section (RDS) and can fly just 3-4 meters above the ground/sea level.