INDIAN ARMY PLACES $2 BILLIONS BrahMos ORDER
By Bulbul Singh
28 Apr 09. “The Indian Army has given a $2 billion firm order for the induction of two regiments of BrahMos Land Attack Cruise Missiles, which will give it a dramatic edge against Pakistan.” say Indian Army officials.
BrahMos, a joint development project between India and Russia, has a range of 290 kilometres. The land version had to go through rigorous user trials before it was cleared for induction.
The land version had to be equipped with extra sensors as the Indian Army wanted the missile to distinguish between varieties of objects in urban areas, unlike the naval version. In addition, improvements were also made in the guidance system.
A DRDO scientist said the Indian Army, reduced the targets in a series of tests. In the last test the target was reduced from an earlier factory size to a building in a cluster of houses. The BrahMos selected the target, locked on and destroyed it to the satisfaction of the Indian Army.
In January, a BrahMos missile went off the target and the Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said categorically that the missile would not be inducted until the Indian Army is satisfied after further trials.
In the January trials the BrahMos missile went off target by 53 kilometres even as a Russian official present on the test site in the Pokhran desert of Rajasthan had claimed that the test was successful. Indian Army chief, General Deepak Kapoor had personally inspected the target and had announced that the Indian Army was not satisfied with the claim that the missile was successful. However, the last test on March 29 in Pokhran hit the target to the satisfaction of the Indian Army.
Sources in the Indian defence ministry said, “The induction of
BrahMos has put at rest all attempts by some overseas defence companies to sell land cruise missiles to India. Sources added that Raytheon of United has given presentations of their cruise missiles to Indian Army top brass on more than one occasion. The chances of land version of BrahMos even getting scrapped had increased after the failure of the January test, added the sources.
The Indian Army will name the BrahMos 862 and 863. The other missile regiments of the Indian Army include 333, and 444 which comprise the short range Prithvi ballistic missile with a range of 250 kilometres and 555 Regiment, which comprises the Agni-II ballistic missile unit with a range of more than 2000 kilometres. The Indian Army also has the 861 Regiment of BrahMos-1 which has an inferior quality of homing and guidance systems to the latest version of land cruise missile.
Pakistan is also developing a 500 kilometres range Land Cruise
missile project, Babur. However, the status of the Babur missile is not known.
“BrahMos will dramatically increase the fire power of the Indian Army.” An Indian Army official said. The land version of the BrahMos is difficult to intercept. Meanwhile DRDO is also developing a Mach 10 version of BrahMos which the DRDO scientist said will be impossible to intercept.