Developments in the last fortnight indicate an unprecedented buildup of confidence between India and Russia as evident from the many deals and agreements that have been reached.
India and Russia have approved the proposal to double the range of the BrahMos, world’s first supersonic cruise missile at the 16th Russia-India intergovernmental commission on military cooperation meeting. Sources told Sputnik that during the annual summit in Goa, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached an agreement to develop different range of the BrahMos. One of the ranges agreed upon was to double it from current range of 186 miles which received final nod on October 26 during the Russia-India intergovernmental commission on military cooperation meeting co-chaired by Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. “Russia is India's time tested and closest partner and it will continue to remain our primary defense partner,” Manohar Parrikar, Indian Defense Minister, said after the meeting on Wednesday.
The proposal to increase the range of BrahMos was under consideration for a long time and now it is formalized after India became a member of Missile Technology Control Regime this year. It is said that only minor changes will be enough to extend the range of BrahMos up to 372 miles. Currently, BrahMos is capable of hitting targets beyond the radar horizon and can be launched from sea based and land based weapon systems.
Test fire of an air-launched version of Brahmos cruise missile expected to be held in February next year. The 2.5 metric ton Brahmos air-to-ground missile will be fired from an IAF (Indian Air Force) Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft that has undergone modifications to accommodate the new weapon. A successful preliminary trial has already been carried out, and two more dummy trials are in the pipeline before the actual test.