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In a recent media interaction, Atul Dinkar Rane, the CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace, made a significant statement, ruling out the possibility of equipping the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a nuclear warhead. The decision comes as India reaffirms its commitment to conventional warfare and clarifies its stance on the deployment of nuclear weapons.

The BrahMos missile, a joint venture between India and Russia, is renowned for its exceptional speed and precision, making it one of the most potent supersonic cruise missiles in the world. However, concerns were raised when the missile was accidentally fired from Sirsa, Haryana, in 2022 and crashed into Mian Channu, Khanewal District, Punjab, Pakistan. Pakistan swiftly claimed that the BrahMos missile could have triggered a nuclear incident, given its potential to be armed with nuclear warheads.

Rane, in his recent statement, debunked these claims and set the record straight. He clarified that the BrahMos missile has a maximum capacity to carry a warhead of 300 kilograms, which, in theory, could be used for equipping it with a Tactical nuclear weapon. However, he emphasized that India has not pursued the development of Tactical nuclear weapons for deployment on the BrahMos or any other sub-sonic cruise missiles.
Unlike Pakistan, which has invested in the development of Tactical nuclear weapons for its Babur missile, India has chosen to focus solely on conventional capabilities for its BrahMos missile. By opting for conventional warheads, India aims to maintain transparency and avoid any confusion or miscalculations in the event of employing the weapon during a conflict.

The BrahMos missile has already demonstrated its immense value in conventional warfare scenarios. Its rapid speed and high precision have proven to be game-changers on the battlefield, and the forthcoming inclusion of the missile in India’s Rocket Force further cements its importance in the country’s defence strategy.

It is essential to note that the BrahMos missile’s conventional nature does not diminish its potency or significance. As a potent force multiplier, it will continue to play a pivotal role in India’s military capabilities and deterrence strategy. India’s commitment to conventional warfare aligns with its longstanding principle of a No First Use (NFU) nuclear policy, emphasizing the country’s focus on deterrence and responsible use of its military might.

Rane’s clarification not only puts to rest any misconceptions about the BrahMos missile’s nuclear capability but also reinforces India’s commitment to regional stability and its resolve to promote peaceful coexistence in the region.

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