Sudhir Mishra, scientist and Director General (BrahMos), DRDO, said, "Had we exported to other countries, we would have certainly become much bigger and made much more money.”

Stating that all the Indian Naval ships guarding the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea are armed with BrahMos missiles that give only 22 seconds reaction-time to the enemy, Sudhir Mishra, scientist and Director General (BrahMos), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), said on Friday that these supersonic cruise missiles have given the Navy the capability to “defeat warships of any country.”

While speaking on the topic of the “Role of BrahMos in nation building” at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Ahmedabad, Mishra said, “It is an unmanned aircraft loaded with explosives… A ship usually has a radar that can only see only up to 20 kilometres… the speed of the BrahMos is 970 metre per second. When it is about 20 kilometres away, the enemy gets only 22 seconds to react. It is very difficult to engage a projectile coming with so much speed.”

The BrahMos missile has a range of 300 km and a speed of Mach 3.

Mishra, who is also the CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, said there are currently eight variants of the BrahMos that can be fired from different platforms like ships, Sukhio fighters, submarines and land systems.

Sudhir Mishra, scientist and Director General (BrahMos), DRDO.

“One of the Naval captains told me that for a 600 kilometre diameter I have only friends in the ocean. The reason is nobody can afford to be an enemy within this diameter. Because, we are having a capability to defeat warships of any country. When I underline any country, you can include all the countries without telling you the name,” he said. Mishra also showed videos of BrahMos hitting a ship and breaking down into two pieces and said, “This is the fear our enemies and adversaries are having. This kind of capability we provide to our Navy.”

Serving Naval officers have spoken in public about the increasing might of the Chinese in the Indian Ocean which is a key trade route for ships plying to South-East Asia and beyond.

BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd a private entity developed in joint venture with Russia that began operations with ₹ 1,300 crore about 21 years ago has today “created business worth ₹ 34,000 crore” with only Indian Armed forces as the only customer.

“Had we exported to other countries, we would have certainly become much bigger and made much more money,” Mishra said.

Brahmos Aerospace, the joint venture between DRDO and NPOM of Russia, was formed on February 12, 1998. “DRDO has a 50.5 per cent equity in the project. Had it crossed 51 per cent, it would have become a defence Public Sector Undertaking and the government never wanted another PSU to come up. So we are a private company which is owned and run by the government,” he added.

He said 70-75 per cent of the BrahMos systems were being manufactured in an indigenous manner and more than 200 industries have employed 20,000 workers for the development and manufacture of the missile. These industries include L&T which manufacturers canisters for the missile near Vadodara.