Silver Shower

BrahMos Aerospace completes 25 years

Smruti Deshpande

At the Silver Jubilee celebrations of BrahMos Aerospace, CEO and MD Atul Rane, while speaking to FORCE revealed that the India-Russia joint venture had completed the preliminary design of the BrahMos-NG and that one could expect the full-scale production to begin anytime next year.

BrahMos Aerospace completes 25 years

He said, “We have started off from the detailed design called the working documentation. We would be ready to start cutting metal within five to six months.” He added that the main thing about the new project is funds and that BrahMos was in the process of gathering funds at present and once the JV got the funds, the project would move forward.

“I see flight trials starting by end of next year,” he said, adding, “Full-scale production, if everything is successful, will commence three years down the line and we would be ready to start delivering to users who would be interested.” According to him, dummy trials will begin by the middle of next year.

According to Rane, indigenisation of the weapon system has come a long way. He said, “When we started BrahMos, the whole idea was that the ground complex would be of Indian design and Indian production and the missile system would be from the Russian side. But even when the missile system was designed and created and delivered to the navy, it had only about 13-15 per cent of the Indian content. Today, we have reached about 78 per cent indigenisation.”

He said the journey has not been easy. “You’re taking up the indigenisation of an already working item. Getting an industry to accept using a particular material, learning to work on those materials and creating new processes is complicated.”

Rane is confident that BrahMos will go places through exports. He said, “We have our first order from the Philippines. We are in the process of executing that order. It will take another two and half years to complete it.” He adds that now that BrahMos has broken into the market, there is a lot of interest in the world. Since 2001, when the JV has been participating in exhibitions all over the world, “Dozens of nations have shown interest in investing in the missile. We are in conversation with them,” he said.

How does having a facility such as BrahMos help the Indian forces?

“Until BrahMos Aerospace was created, most of the weapon systems were being imported. But even the ones which were being by manufactured by the Indian defence PSUs through transfer of technology (ToT) from the DRDO, faced issues pertaining to maintenance, operations, and quality. These issues arose every now and then. In such a scenario, who does one place the blame on? The design agency, the production agency, or the product support agency?” he said.

In case of BrahMos, the design sits with the JV, even though it has design partners. Hence, in case of flaws, the organisation gets it rectified. Similarly, in case of quality issues, quality control happens through BrahMos, thereby making the company a ‘one window contact’ for its users. This practice is now becoming a model for all the future indigenous weapons in the country, Rane said.

On how far the BrahMos had come in the past 25 years, Rane said, “Twenty-five years is a short period, but it is also a long journey. I was only 32 years old when we started this journey. The signing of the inter-governmental agreement was historic. We were unaware at the time what BrahMos would become.”

BrahMos started off as a supersonic antiship cruise missile—developed, designed, and launched in three years. The Indo-Russia JV got its first order of 30-40 missiles in the fifth year of its existence. Rane said that BrahMos is a universal missile system, capable of hitting sea targets and land targets in either sea-skimming mode or steep attack mode.

Today, BrahMos had more than 200 Indian industry partners in the public and private sector, including the MSMEs and SMEs. Rane said he believes that this list will only grow because as the number of missiles being ordered today keep growing, BrahMos can’t rely on only one vendor. “We will need multiple sources,” he said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary function, Rane said that BrahMos has an order book of USD 6 billion. Present at the event to mark ‘25 Supersonic Years of Success’ were CDS Gen. Anil Chauhan, COAS Gen. Manoj Pande, CAS ACM Vivek Ram Chaudhari and VCNS Vice Adm. Sanjay Singh.


Celebratory Chatter

Peace and security are not only for the prosperity and growth of India but also for its extended neighbourhood. A strong and resilient India and its armed forces with its conventional, deterrent capability is hence essential for India’s growth. The acquisition of BrahMos missile systems for the armed forces by and large assist India to make this strategic objective to maintain peace.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Anil Chauhan


I think the need for self-sufficiency in critical technologies and investment in R&D has been a strategic imperative for us. This has emerged as a consequence of recent geopolitical developments in the international security canvas and more specifically the conflict in Europe. It is to the credit of our scientific community and R&D professionals and production partners that we embarked upon a roadmap to give effect to our desire to have this capability in the domain of cruise missiles years ago.

Chief of Army Staff Gen. Manoj Pande


We will all agree that the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers are not tapped to their full potential. There is so much more potential in these rivers. In the same manner, I think there is much more potential in this joint venture. I am sure we can look at scaling even greater heights as you reach your 50th anniversary in the 100th year of India’s independence. The air-borne weapon Su-30 MKI fighter has tremendously enhanced the IAF’s firepower. Today, the BrahMos modified Su-30MKI are almost across all squadrons of the IAF.

Chief of Air Staff ACM Vivek Ram Chaudhari


I am very happy that scientists and engineers of DRDO and BrahMos are putting in good work on the design and development of new versions of Brahmos weapon systems and alongside also bettering the quality of the missile systems that would be produced in the future.

Minister of state for defence, Ajay Bhatt


Creating such model of a private company with the freedom and quick decision-making capability despite many challenges is a success story. Industry looks at sustained orders. As far as BrahMos is concerned, continuous orders are coming from the (Indian defence) services. And today we are also seeing export potential of BrahMos in a major way. As long as it is continuing, the industry is assured of (more and more) orders.

Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, Dr G Satheesh Reddy


We have been associated with BrahMos for the past 20 years in various capacities—as a systems integrator and manufacturer of various subsystems. We are doing our bit for BrahMos, it gives us business, knowledge as well as a relationship with the industry.

Chairman and Managing Director-ECIL, Anurag Kumar


From conceptualization to realization of the missile—its testing, evaluation, qualification and induction—I think this is one of the shortest timespans wherein a missile system has been inducted. This is also the first missile weapon system which has transitioned from development to production to induction. In doing so, the processes that were required to be established across the entire ecosystem—be it in the production agencies, quality agencies, setting up the civil infrastructure for induction amongst the services as well as the SOPs for operationalization and lifecycle management were all done for the first time. BrahMos has been a forebearer in that sense.

Outstanding Scientist & Director General, Production Coordination & Services Interaction (PC & SI), Dr Chandrika Kaushik


In our journey as a defence industry, every now and then we get a little blip which moves the industry up and BrahMos was one such event. Around 2000, when Dr Pillai wanted L&T to be a part of the BrahMos industrial complex and asked us to get involved in composites—we decided to embark upon the manufacturing of composites, and it was an early journey from thereon to establish many of these manufacturing processes.

Executive Vice President & Head, L&T Defence, Arun Ramchandani


For a complex technology and world’s only and the fastest supersonic cruise missile to achieve what BrahMos and all of us have achieved in stupendous. It was mentioned that in 1998 the company was formed and within three years, in 2001, a successful launch was conducted. Thereafter it was inducted in the navy in 2005, and then the army in 2007. Isn’t it a supersonic performance on part of the weapon system to have been developed and inducted successfully?

Advisor and former chief operating officer, Godrej, Kaustubh Shukla



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