Interview | CEO & MD BrahMos Aerospace, Atul Dinkar Rane

The Emergence of the BrahMos Has Not Only Strengthened India’s Technological Base But Also Elevated its Image in the Global Arena

Atul Dinkar RaneHow did the Army 2023 show go for you?

We put up a very successful show at the Army 2023 exposition in Moscow, Russia. BrahMos garnered a lot of interest from several quarters at this international forum. Many countries showed huge interest in the versatile weapon system. High level defence delegates from these countries visited the BrahMos pavilion and inquired about the universal missile and its formidable capabilities. At the BrahMos stall, we displayed all variants of the BrahMos—land-based, ship-based, submarine-launched and air-borne weapon. The BrahMos-NG model was also exhibited.


With how many countries are you currently engaging for possible exports? Who are you most optimistic about?

We have been actively negotiating with more than a dozen countries at present. After we signed our landmark BrahMos export contract with the Philippines in 2022, many countries in the ASEAN region have renewed their interest in the supersonic cruise missile system, which is the world’s fastest and best. Some of these countries are studying the feasibility of fitting such a powerful weapon on their existing military platforms. Some countries in the Latin American region too are intending to acquire the BrahMos and its future NG variant for deploying on their existing as well as future platforms. A few countries from Africa have also come forward. We are hopeful of inking our next export deal very soon.


What initiatives are you taking to push for more exports? What roadblocks do you face?

We have a vigorous market promotion policy under our ‘Mind-to-Market’ strategy. As part of this, we actively participate in domestic and international defence exhibitions which are held in friendly foreign countries. Such events provide us vibrant forums to promote the BrahMos as a universal, cost-effective deterrent system for present-day conflict situations.

There are no roadblocks as such. Of course, when it involves a best-in-class weapon, then the cost factor automatically comes into play. Since we are offering a highly advanced weapon involving high-end technologies, it definitely comes at a cost. So, we are doing our negotiations (for exports) accordingly.


How is the Philippines programme coming along? Can you share some more details about the scope of the programme in terms of training, maintenance and other post-sale service issues. When will the delivery commence? You had mentioned that the Philippines Army had also shown interest in BrahMos. Has that interest moved forward?

We have expedited our work on all fronts. We remain committed to fulfil the export order by the end of this year or early next year. A batch of Philippines Navy personnel has completed their training on operational and maintenance aspects of critical logistics packages for the SBASMS consisting of the BrahMos. We are also building technical positions for the missile batteries for their storage, maintenance and check out. All in all, we are providing the best-in-class weapon system along with end-to-end and a very comprehensive post-sales service support to our first foreign customer nation.

Yes, the Philippines Army has shown interest in mobile land-based BrahMos weapon complex. We are advancing in our negotiations. Once we successfully execute our first export order, which is from the Philippines Navy, we would be in a much stronger position to move forward in this direction.


What is the update on the BrahMos NG and BrahMos II?

BrahMos-NG (Next-Generation), the smaller, lighter, smarter and stealthier variant over the existing BrahMos missile system, possesses more versatility and lethality in addition to ultra-high precision for deployment onboard a wider range of modern-day military platforms on land, sea, sub-sea and air. The BrahMos-NG, with its reduced size and weight, could potentially reinforce a sizeable number of existing as well as futuristic military platforms. The design and development work is ongoing with added focus on making the missile smaller, smarter and half the weight of the BrahMos missile, which is already operational with all the three services. We plan to start missile testing including the design assessment and qualifying trials by the end of next year.

The Hypersonic BrahMos -II (K) has the potential to revolutionise the future of modern warfare in a remarkable way. Incorporating extremely intricate technologies in terms of design, material and other enhancements, this new revolutionary missile would fly at a top-notch speed of Mach 7 or above. Work is progressing actively with BrahMos, DRDO, NPOM along with various R&D institutes both in India and Russia on the hypersonic version.


How much indigenisation has been achieved by BrahMos. Progressively, do you think that 100 per cent indigenisation is a desirable goal?

The indigenisation journey of this unparalleled supersonic cruise missile is truly remarkable. The BrahMos has redefined the entire realm of defence partnership and defence indigenisation for India. The cruise missile has conducted numerous successful launches, boosting India’s defence indigenisation efforts by significantly highlighting the vital contributions of the BrahMos missile to the government of India’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The missile system has successfully indigenised major sub-systems such as booster, nose cap, canister, fuel management system and other major non-metallic airframe components taking the Indian contribution to more than seventy percent. All launcher systems for the weapon are also being manufactured domestically. A 100 per cent of ground support equipment for the weapon complex are also being made in India. The powerful BrahMos has become a fine testimony of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ with the aim to make the country self-reliant.

The BrahMos missile system has exceptionally evolved to meet modern warfare demands. The supersonic cruise missile has been successfully achieving indigenisation of its various critical systems and sub-systems. The missile system is almost entirely indigenous, except for the Ramjet engine, a major component, which is of Russian origin. Efforts are in progress towards indigenisation of the same.


What is the future roadmap for growth? Do you think domestic demand will sustain?

The BrahMos JV has been a major success story in the history of India’s defence and aerospace industry with no equivalent in the world today. As one of the lethal combat assets, the missile’s firepower has truly galvanised the Indian armed forces’ military strength. BrahMos has been successfully meeting the requirements of the three services of the Indian armed forces in terms of production capacities, their delivery demands, thus highlighting our production commitments and users’ satisfaction. We have also been attaining major upgrades and making several technological improvements with regards to system’s performance.

We are currently moving ahead with a clear vision of the action-oriented roadmap drawn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In terms of weapon exports, the PM has given the target of achieving USD 5 billion in defence exports by 2025. BrahMos Aerospace is hoping that it should alone be able to achieve that figure by that time. The emergence of the BrahMos has not only strengthened India’s technological base but also elevated its image in the global arena. Our vision is therefore to remain as the world leader in the field of Cruise Missile Systems, excelling through R&D efforts in design and software upgrades and delivering a state-of-the-art advanced weapon complex.


Does BrahMos face competition from DRDO’s cruise missile programme?

The DRDO-ADE’s Nirbhay is a long range subsonic cruise missile, armed with both sea skimming and loitering capability, which can strike high value targets with precision. The BrahMos, jointly developed by the DRDO, India, and NPOM, Russia, is a universal long range supersonic cruise missile system. The Nirbhay missile is a land-to-land variant. The BrahMos force-multiplier can be launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air by the army, navy and air force. Both the Nirbhay and BrahMos cruise missiles have tremendously strengthened the Indian armed forces to annihilate enemy firepower and safeguard the nation’s borders.




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