SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Brahmos supersonic cruise was recently tested with Indian-made seeker which according to media reports performed better than Russian supplied Seeker. Indo-Russia joint venture BrahMos Corporation came to limelight way back in 2001 when PJ-10 a preproduction model of the earlier BrahMos Supersonic cruise missiles was the first test fired.
290km, Brahmos with Sustainable Mach 3 performance over its entire trajectory did raise several eyebrows and pin-point accuracy and its ability to generate kinetic energy which can sink targets as big as an Aircraft Carrier made it one of the most feared missile systems in the world.
BrahMos Aerospace Limited was a 50-50 joint venture between India and Russia but Russia supplied over 65% of the components which goes in each BrahMos which included its ramjet engine and radar seeker. Over the years, India has been slowly and steadily increasing sourcing of Indian components to make missile more Indian but Russian companies wanted India to stick to original component sourcing agreements which literally made India being stuck with Russians supply chain while BrahMos Missile was under production.
BrahMos Missiles under different configurations and variants have been in production for over 17 years now but without any export success due to several factors which prevented the export, even when it had high interest from several countries over the years.
BrahMos even though technology is far superior and much more advanced than P-800 Oniks upon which it was based, still Russian Military have refused to accept BrahMos Missiles and stead have stuck with their own version.
Russians were also instrumental in sabotaging BrahMos export prospects when they made a counteroffer and were able to sell Russian made P-800 to Vietnam and Indonesia when they were eyeing BrahMos instead.
In 2008-09, India felt the need to develop its own version of BrahMos due to MTCR range limitations and also due to expensive weapon system which BrahMos Missile system had turned out to be due to continued Russian sourced components.
Long-Range Cruise Missile (LRCM) was India’s Mach 3 capable liquid-fuel ramjet engine powered 600km ranged, long-range super-sonic cruise missile which will ultimately supplement or even replace BrahMos Cruise missile in long-term.
After Initial Research and Development and due to lack of technology realisation specifically with liquid-fuel ramjet technology meant the project was not actively pursued nor was completely abandoned but sure was under cold storage without any confirmation on the progress of the missile system.
India’s entry into MTRC regime had a direct effect on BrahMos missile system and the capped range of 290km was improved to 450km and a newly improved missile with a range up to 800km is already in development which somewhat has reduced need to develop LRCM for India but if India really wants to be independent of Russia, then LRCM should be India’s priority back again after all, India was able to develop Indigenous seeker which has much better performance then imported Russian version .