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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to help India test supersonic cruise missile

RIA Novosti

24/01/2007 11:45 NEW DELHI, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Sukhoi Design Bureau will assist India in testing an air-to-ground version of the Brahmos cruise missile, a RIA Novosti correspondent said Wednesday.

Russia and India established in 1998 a joint venture, BrahMos Aerospace, to design, develop, produce and market a supersonic cruise missile. Sea-based and land-based versions of the missile have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.

The company is currently working on the development of an airborne version of the missile, which could be installed on the Sukhoi-30MKI air-superiority fighters of the Indian Air Force.

The Brahmos missile, named after India's Brahmaputra River and Russia's Moscow River, has a range of 180 miles and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 660 pounds. It can hit ground targets flying at an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and at a speed of Mach 2.8.

A BrahMos Aerospace official said last year that the company planned to make 1,000 missiles over the next 10 years and sell half of them to third countries.

During the sixth meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation in the Indian capital on Wednesday, the sides agreed to increase the production capacity of the joint enterprise in order to satisfy the growing demand for this type of weaponry.

In 2000, Russia and India signed a 10-year program on military-technical cooperation, which currently lists about 130 R&D and production projects.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is a co-chairman of the joint commission, Wednesday called for the development of a draft cooperation program beyond 2010.

"Joint projects in the sphere of military-technical cooperation between Russia and India show a gradual transition from 'seller-buyer' relations to scientific-production cooperation," said Ivanov, who is also Russia's deputy prime minister.



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