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Yury Laskin

Tests of several modifications to the BrahMos cruise missile to extend its range are planned for 2020, one of Russia’s top defence industries officials announced at the ARMY-2020 Forum. India, with whom Russia developed the missile, is among the top exhibitors at the show, having a strong national pavilion.

In June, the BrahMos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) received the first ever fleet release clearance (FRC) issued by the certifying agency. The supersonic and advanced ALCM (designated as BrahMos-A) with its proven capabilities for the Indian Air Force (IAF), became India’s first indigenous weapon to get the critical FRC. This paves the way for IAF squadrons to use the BrahMos ALCM during various combat missions, marking an important milestone for the manufacturers.

The IAF gained an unmatched capability in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) when it inducted its Sukhoi Su-30MKI armed with BrahMos ALCMs. The stand-off distance of BrahMos (300 km) and the range of Sukhoi (3000-plus km) along with refuelling, have given the IAF a great advantage during its missions in the IOR. The missile has caught the attention of countries from South America to ASEAN nations, as well as some Eastern European countries.

“A lot of countries have shown great interest in [purchasing the missiles of] BrahMos. We are now working with our Russian colleagues. We have already received [export] permits from Russia and the Indian government, and we really hope that as soon as the pandemic is over, we will be able to act on it,” BrahMos Chief General Manager Praveen Pathak said on the sidelines of the Russian-hosted Army 2020 forum, where a full size mock-up of the BRAHMOS-A missile has been displayed.