Tenali: India has begun work on the BrahMos-2 project, which will see the design and development of hypersonic missiles, according to Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, chief executive officer (CEO) of BrahMos Aerospace. Dr Pillai was speaking at the conferment ceremony of the 16th Dr Y Nayudamma Award of which he is the recipient.
The chairman and managing director of the KCP Group, VL Dutt, presented the award to Dr Pillai at a function in this coastal town.
The BrahMos-2 project, a joint one with Russia, will apparently see the participation of more than 20 Russian institutes and companies along with a similar number from the Indian industry participating.
The hypersonic missiles will fly at speeds of Mach 5-7 or five to seven times the speed of sound.
According to Dr Pillai, joint teams from India and Russia are working on designing different versions of the missile. Currently, the BrahMos is available in ship-to-ship, land to ship and land-to-land versions.
A submarine launched version is also ready but a suitable submarine to carry or even test the BrahMos was yet to be finalised.
An air launched version for the Indian Air force has been under development for quite some time. Efforts are now on to deploy the TU-142, a Russian reconnaissance aircraft in service with the Navy, for trials soon. Once tests are completed, this version would be integrated with the Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft, Dr Pillai said.
The supersonic BrahMos missile flies at speeds of Mach 2.8 and has already been inducted into service with the Indian Navy and Army.
The BrahMos project will be of five-years duration.
Both the Indian and the Russian Government have assured adequate funding and support, he said.
The BrahMos project, launched in 1999, has been a grand success so far. Production facilities are being geared up to meet the orders from India as well as future exports, Dr Pillai said.
Giving the annual lecture, Dr Pillai said that the country had to focus on emerging as a globally competitive, technology power for which it had the manpower and the resources.