To enhance its capability for carrying out maritime strike operations, interdicting and destroying enemy warships and merchant vessels, the Ministry of Defence (India) has planned to acquire 200 Bramhos Supersonic Cruise Missiles for the Indian Navy.
According to a source, the procurement proposal for the missiles and associated equipment will be taken into consideration by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on March 12, 2023.
It will be subsequently sent for the final nod to the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Security.
The Ministry of Defence is planning to arm all the frontline warships of the Indian Navy with the Bramhos Missiles.
The Source also mentioned that the exact contours of the deal will include deliveries that are being fine-tuned over a long-term period. The actual cost will depend on the numbers and configurations that finally get cleared.
However, according to the source, the cost will extend beyond 15000 crores.
The missiles will also be inducted for four Project 15B Destroyers and Project 17A Frigates. The INS Vishakhapatnam and INS Mormugao have already been commissioned. The Indian Navy has launched five out of the seven frigates till now.
Ten frontline warships are already armed with Brahmos missiles. The vertical launch systems of this missile have been installed on another five warships of the Indian Navy.
On March 5, incidentally, the navy had tested the ‘air-breathing’ Bramhos with an indigenous seeker and booster designed by DRDO from a warship in the Arabian Sea.
The Bramhos Missile has emerged as the prime conventional (non-nuclear) strike weapon for the armed forces over the years with contracts worth over 38,000 crores already inked till now.
The Indian Armed Forces are now progressively inducting Bramhos Missile with an extended range of 450 km from the original 290km. An 800km range variant has also undergone its maiden test, and a few more are slated this year.
Similarly, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to arm its Sukhoi-30MKI with the Bramhos after getting the first lot of forty jets modified by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to carry the missile.
With a combat radius of 1500 km, without mid-air refuelling, the Sukhois armed with the Bramhos Missile constitute a deadly potent weapon package for pinpointed strikes against high-value targets such as warships, enemy positions, bunkers, command and control centres and the like on land.
The Indian Army’s Bramhos missile batteries incidentally have been deployed in both Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as part of the overall military readiness posture against the Peoples Republic of China along the 3,488km long Line of Actual Control (LAC).
India also looks forward to exporting the Bramhos Missiles to other nations after inking the first $375 million contracts for the three anti-ship coastal missile batteries with the Philippines in January 2022.