With MTCR membership, the missile can be modified to reach 600 km
India and Russia have agreed to double the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that the two produce together.
This follows India’s recent accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Earlier, India was denied access to the missile technology with range over 300 km as it was not a member state.
The decision was taken earlier this month during the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. “The range will be extended to over 600 km and it would only require slight re-engineering,” sources told The Hindu.
Mr. Putin made a mention of this in Goa when speaking to journalists from Russia. “We have also agreed to improve the BrahMos missile, which will be land, air and sea launched. We will also work to increase its range.”
When the two countries teamed up to develop the missile in 1998, which is based on the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile, its range was limited to 290 km as Russia was a member of MTCR but India was not. While it was a joint development, most of the critical systems on board the missile, including the seeker, come from Russia.
“Extending the range will significantly enhance the stand-off capability and the operational radius in striking targets. Combined with its speed and accuracy it a major force multiplier,” one Navy officer said.
BrahMos, which is one of its kind, has already been deployed by the Army and the Navy in anti-ship and precision strike roles respectively. The air version is at present undergoing testing