BrahMos Aerospace – the India-Russia Defence Joint Venture (JV) between DRDO & NPOM – on 31st May 2023 commemorated ‘25 Supersonic Years of Success’ by organising ‘BRAHMOS Users Meet 2023’.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan graced the occasion along with Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande and Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) Vice Adm. Sanjay Jasjit Singh.
Terming the formidable BRAHMOS Weapon System as the ‘Brahmastra’ of India, Gen. Chauhan, quoting national poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, said, “BRAHMOS missile systems in some manner symbolise ‘garal’, meaning lethality, and ‘bal’, meaning strength. It (the weapon) begets respect and I believe; it is there to promote peace.”
The global security environment is in a state of flux. This has given way to new alignments, new linkages and partnerships. Most of the nations are reorienting their strategies towards the Indo-Pacific. Our strategic imperatives have increased manifold to sustain our rapid all-round growth and development, the CDS said.
“The global and regional security environment, hence, necessitates that India must continue to bring comprehensive national power at greater civil-military fusion and attain desired military capabilities to protect as well as promote its national interests,” Gen. Chauhan said.
While stating that strategic autonomy has always been the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy, he said that strategic capability promotes strategic autonomy. “Another way to achieve strategic autonomy is ‘Atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance).
The huge initiative of ‘Make-In-India’ ushered in by our Hon’ble Prime Minister is a foundation stone for a ‘Sashakt & Swayatt’ Bharat,” the Chief of Defence Staff said.
In order to achieve ‘Atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance), a developing country like India needs to forge partnerships and alliances of different kinds, he stated. “BrahMos Aerospace is one such venture which is a major success story. It has led to ‘Atmanirbharta’ in defence. One of the world’s finest and largest precision guided weapons, BRAHMOS has fortified India’s deterrence power in the 21st century.
The missile system has been successfully operationalised by the three Services and it’s truly a ‘Brahmastra’ of its times,” the Chief of Defence Staff said. “Today, as we move forward in our plans for greater jointness & integration in military operations, the role and scope of BRAHMOS gets widened further,” Gen. Chauhan said. “BRAHMOS is a weapon of choice for the three Services and it will help us promote interoperability between the Tri-Services,” he said.
As our defence indigenisation efforts are gaining momentum under the flagship ‘Make-In-India’ programme, BrahMos JV has taken decisive leads in this direction. It is, in fact, promoting a large number of tier-I and tier-II (industries) & MSMEs, the Chief of Defence Staff stated. While mentioning the first BRAHMOS export order from the Republic of Philippines, Gen. Chauhan said that from ‘Make-In-India, the JV enterprise has made a successful transition toward the ‘Make-for-the-World’ initiative.
The CDS also appreciated the diligent efforts by BrahMos Aerospace to design and build newer, more advanced variants of BRAHMOS, including the BRAHMOS-NG (next-gen). “The decision to set up a BRAHMOS (manufacturing) facility in the UP Defence Industrial Corridor is also a significant development,” he said.
He also applauded the initiatives taken by BrahMos Aerospace to provide life extension services for the already delivered missiles and also providing after sales product support and maintenance support at all the facilities. “It’s an important aspect for any business model,” he noted.
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, in his remarks on the occasion, said that BRAHMOS has become the most lethal air combat asset of the Indian Air Force.
“The air-borne weapon on Su-30MKI fighters has tremendously enhanced the IAF’s firepower. Today, the BRAHMOS modified Su-30MKI aircraft are almost across all Squadrons of the IAF,” the Air Chief Marshal said. Like the Brahmaputra and Moska rivers, there is great potential in the BrahMos JV which needs to be tapped fully. “I am sure the JV can look at scaling even greater heights as it reaches its 50th anniversary in the 100th year of India’s Independence. This should be our aim,” the IAF Chief said.
Addressing the gathering, Army Chief General Manoj Pande said that recent conflicts have shown that due to increased vulnerability of manned and unmanned platforms, missiles are emerging as ‘the vectors of choice’, especially when it comes to engaging targets at longer ranges or in-depth. “And a weapon system like BRAHMOS has become a vital instrument to protect our national interest,” he said. “The Indian Army remains the largest user of BRAHMOS and the first deployment dates back to 2007. This ‘force multiplier’ has profoundly enhanced our long-range precision strike ability,” Gen. Pande said.
Speaking on the occasion, Atul D Rane, DG (BrahMos, DRDO) and CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace said that the universal weapon’s operationalization in the Tri-Services of India has made us the first & only nation in the world to possess a ‘Supersonic Cruise Missile Triad’. “BRAHMOS has rightfully broken the “Fifth-nation Syndrome” for us,” the BrahMos Chief said while quoting former President, iconic scientist & ‘Missile Man’ Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. “It was the visionary scientist Dr. Kalam who played a pivotal role in giving shape to the BrahMos JV at a time when the lethality, formidability & indomitability of precision guided weapons in modern warfare was becoming evident,” Rane said, while adding that Dr. A S Pillai, the founding CEO & MD of BrahMos, led from the front to accomplish what was unthinkable for many leading nations at that point of time. “Our supersonic journey of 25 incredible years has resulted in many ‘firsts’ for India.
Over 100 test firings of BRAHMOS have been conducted from India’s ground, ship and air platforms – both development trials & user/ acceptance trials – with an unbeatable success rate,” the BrahMos Chief said. “Our strong commitment to be an equal shareholder with our Armed Forces in maintaining the BRAHMOS Weapon System(s) remains our paramount motto,” he said.
Dr. Sanjeev K Joshi, Deputy CEO of BrahMos, concluded the mega event by thanking the Chief Guest, the Guests of Honour, officers from the Indian Armed Forces, scientists and engineers from DRDO & NPOM and other esteemed guests. “Thanks to the Indian Armed Forces for appreciating our after-sales Product Support. We assure best quality product support not only in peacetime, but also in wartime, Dr. Joshi said.