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India’s BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile has found its first export customer in the Philippines, highlighting the growing demand for such high-speed weapons. However, BrahMos faces a significant challenge: cost.

Advancements in air defence systems have driven many countries to seek supersonic anti-ship missiles like BrahMos. These missiles, capable of exceeding Mach 3 speeds, can potentially penetrate increasingly sophisticated defenses. Subsonic missiles, while cheaper, may struggle to overwhelm modern air defence capabilities.

Despite its impressive speed, BrahMos comes with a hefty price tag, estimated at around ?40 crore per unit (excluding supporting systems). This cost deters many potential buyers. BrahMos is actively trying to address this issue by increasing the indigenous content within the missile system.

The high cost is largely attributed to the ramjet engine, a critical component currently sourced from Russia at a premium. While BrahMos has developed an indigenous booster and is exploring locally sourced fuel, the ultimate goal is an entirely Indian ramjet engine.

BrahMos Corporation is actively developing an indigenous ramjet engine. This not only aims for independence from Russian imports but also promises a significant performance boost. The new engine is expected to propel the missile to speeds exceeding Mach 4.5, nearing hypersonic territory.

While BrahMos officials haven’t confirmed specific price reductions, the indigenous ramjet engine is expected to bring down costs by 10-15%. This, coupled with reduced overhaul costs, could make BrahMos a more attractive proposition for budget-conscious buyers.

The success of BrahMos future hinges on the development of a cost-effective, high-performance indigenous ramjet engine. Achieving this will solidify BrahMos position as a world-class anti-ship missile and open doors to a wider range of potential customers.

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