History of BrahMos
The year 1983 opened a new chapter in India's defence history when decision makers along with the scientific community embarked on an ambitious programme to address the country’s defence requirements. This gave way to the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
The project was aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in missiles programme by developing and producing a comprehensive range of missiles, including the intermediate range and short range ones.
However, after the Gulf War of 1990s, it was felt increasingly necessary to equip the country with a cruise missile system.
It was at that time when India’s decades-old bonhomie with Russia, without disturbing the unique balance in the Non-alignment policy, came to the forefront in developing the new missile system.
As a result, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, also a missile technologist, and N V Mikhailov, Russia’s first Deputy Defence Minister, signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement in Moscow on February 12, 1998. It paved the way for BrahMos Aerospace - the joint venture entity between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
The aim of the partnership was to design, develop, manufacture and market world’s only supersonic cruise missile system - BRAHMOS.
As per the pact, the two sides consented to jointly develop and produce the missile, with India holding a 50.5% share and Russia the other 49.5% share in the JV. On July 9, 1999, the first contract was signed under which the company received $123.75 million from the Russian government and $126.25 million from India. Work on the project began the same year in several specialized laboratories of DRDO and NPOM.
The formation of the company set an example of integration of jointly developed high technology military product and its promotion in the world market through participation of several Indian and Russian institutions and industries.
The first successful launch of BRAHMOS took place on June 12, 2001. The missile was test fired from its land-based launcher at the Interim Test Range off the Chandipur coast in Orissa.
Following this, the joint venture company came into limelight and started participating in domestic and international defence exhibitions. Stepping into the global market, the BRAHMOS was displayed at the MAKS-1 exhibition in Moscow for the first time in 2001.
The missile has undergone a number of test trials, meeting the requirements of its potential users. The system is in service with the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.