Brahmos for Malaysia?


The Brahmos missile

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Defence noticed the news story which was published by the Associated Press of Pakistan on Saturday

BrahMos cruise missiles to be exported to a “friendly” country
NEW DELHI, May 19 (APP): The first contract for the commercial export of jointly developed Indo-Russian BrahMos cruise missile to a “friendly” country is expected to be signed by the end of this year. Media reports quoting CEO of the New Delhi-based BrahMos Aerospace Sivathanu Pillai said the contract is in the pipeline and could be inked by the end of this year The missiles, a joint venture of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian NPO Mashinostroyenia will be exported to mutually agreed “friendly” countries and the list of potential importers would be extended as authorised by their respective governments. BrahMos Aerospace will be able to export at least 1000 missiles over a decade after achieving full production, media reports added.

Malaysian Defence does not like to speculate but the “friendly country” does sound a lot like Malaysia.

Why? First of all, Brahmos has been displayed in Malaysia, exactly ten years ago during Lima 1997. Malaysian Defence believed it was the first time the missile (a full size mock-up) was displayed outside India.

They have not come back but Malaysoian-India defence ties have grown steadily through-out the decade. Malaysian pilots and technicians for the MiG-29 Fulcrum trained extensively in India.

Recently, a Malaysin prince led an Indian cavalry regiment during the country’s Independence Day parade.

More importantly, Malaysia is to receive the first two Sukhoi Su-30 Super Flanker this month with 16 examples arriving within the next 12 months.

There are other countries in the region operates Flanker, namely Indonesia and Vietnam but do not have military contacts with India.

Of course, countries in the Middle East may also be another potential export market but yet again none have extensive military contacts with India.

So Malaysia remained the best bet for the “friendly country” which the Brahmos CEO said in the news story. Pointedly he also mentioned that the contract is to be signed by year end.

Lima 2007 is to be held in early December. It is the last defence exhibition this year.

I am willing to place a wager that Malaysia is the friendly country. Please email me if you want to bet against m. The wager is limited to RM5 per person. The winning bet will be announced on Dec 15.

What is Brahmos? From Brahmos website:

BRAHMOS is a Supersonic Cruise Missile that can be launched from submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The missile is launched from a Transport-Launch Canister (TLC), which also acts as storage and transportation container.

Primarily BRAHMOS is an anti-ship missile. It has the capability to engage land based targets also. The missile can be launched either in vertical or inclined position and will cover 360 degrees.

The BRAHMOS missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub sea platforms. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for stability during launch.

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