“BrahMos is forerunner of India’s defence and in earning foreign exchange”
Defence companies have a big contribution in making the country self-reliant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that by next year we will achieve the target of Rs 25 thousand crore through defence exports. In this, BrahMos has a huge contribution. Praveen Pathak, Director of Product Supply and Marketing of BrahMos, told in an interview to Uday India’s News Editor Anshuman Anand, that BrahMos is the pioneer of India’s defence and at the same time it is a major source of earning foreign exchange. Excerpts:
How far have the plans for export and supply of BrahMos progressed and in what way is it playing an important role in earning foreign exchange for the country?
Brahmos is a joint venture between India and Russia. We started this company in 1998 and since 2004 we have been supplying missiles to the Indian armed forces. Prime Minister’s ideology that India should become a defence exporter from a defence importer, BrahMos has been working on this for a long time. And in 2022, we signed our first contract with the Philippines, whose full amount is 300 million dollars. And in the same way, there are four-five other countries, with whom we are working for exports. We hope this year one more country will join this list. As the Prime Minister has said that we have to reach the amount of Rs 25,000 crore by next year, then we will try that most of this amount comes from BrahMos.
Apart from the Philippines, many other countries such as Vietnam, UAE have also shown interest in BrahMos. Is the production of BrahMos being done according to the demand?
Our production capacity is very good. We have worked from the beginning to increase our production capacity. As on date, there are production facilities at Hyderabad, Nagpur, Pilani, and Trivandrum. And recently, the Ministry of Defence has allotted a lot of land in the Lucknow Corridor of Uttar Pradesh. In which we are setting up another factory. This will be the production unit for BrahMos-NG and in the next two years, this factory will also be ready, and there, the production of this missile will start. As the number of our exporting countries is increasing, our production is also increasing accordingly.
What is the difference between the main BrahMos missile and BrahMos-NG?
BrahMos is a very big and heavy missile, which is 9 meters in length and weighs about 3 tonnes. Owing to this, we could not install it on every platform. For this reason, we have done R&D and the production work of a new missile is going on, which we call BrahMos-NG, i.e. BrahMos Next Generation. In this, we have used many different types of composite materials and used a very different technique. We have been able to reduce both its weight and length. This missile is 6 meters long and weighs 1.4 tonnes, which is less than half. Because of this, where one BrahMos are used in Sukhoi, now 3 BrahMos-NG will be installed. MiG 29 will now have 2 missiles. Similarly, we are engaged in installing BrahMos in aircraft made in India like Tejas and we will be successful in that soon.
BrahMos is a state-of-the-art missile, and its firepower is very fast. Will reducing the weight and length not affect its firepower?
No, there will be no effect on its firepower. Because, as I said, we have reduced its length and weight but its firepower is equally strong. It depends on the speed at which it goes. The velocity of BrahMos-NG will be slightly higher than that of BrahMos. And we will get the same firepower as earlier.
BrahMos is a missile made in collaboration with Russia and western countries have banned Russia for the time being. You are doing BrahMos deals with other countries, will there be any effect of ban on these deals?
Russia is a very important partner of ours in defence matters. When we were demanding technology from all countries, in 1971, it was Russia that supported us and since then till today both the countries have been working together in the defense sector. And in today’s time, if there is any country that is sharing the technology of this type of missile with us, it is Russia only. And we don’t see any problem as of now, which may spoil our relationship. I would say that this is making our relationship even stronger, because the real friend is known only in times of trouble.
Will this ban affect the export of BrahMos?
No, this ban will not affect the export of BrahMos.
In the next three years, according to estimates, how much money would you be able to collect?
Our wish would be that more and more money should come. But the defence expo deal takes a long time, which is not easily possible. And it is expected that this year itself deals will be made with more countries than with just one country.
What about Vietnam?
I would not like to name it because it will not be right to say anything until everything comes in black and white.
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