The LRASM test and the potential expansion of DRDO's defence exports highlight India's readiness to address evolving security challenges

In a strategic move to bolster its naval firepower, India is set to conduct a maiden test of its long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) in early October. This LRASM, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is expected to have a range of 500 kilometres, surpassing the capabilities of the supersonic Indo-Russian cruise missile BrahMos.

The DRDO aims to integrate the LRASM into the Indian Navy's warships within the next seven years. This development enhances India's naval strength by introducing a lighter, more agile missile system that can be deployed by helicopters and smaller vessels, crucial in countering potential threats in the Indian Ocean, particularly from China's expanding naval fleet.

India's Advancements In Missile Technology And Export Potential

India's prowess in missile technology has grown significantly over the years, positioning it among the world's top nations in this field. From the Agni series of ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities to the highly accurate BrahMos cruise missile developed in collaboration with Russia, India boasts a diverse range of indigenous missiles, including anti-aircraft systems and anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles. These advancements are integral to India's national security and deterrence strategy.

Moreover, India's missile technology has garnered international interest, with several friendly nations in West Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia expressing interest in purchasing India's defence systems. The Indo-Pacific region, in particular, has seen India emerge as a significant defence exporter. Nations like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia have shown keen interest in procuring India's supersonic BrahMos missile, which has a reputation as the world's fastest cruise missile. India's defence exports are gaining momentum in the region, driven by shared security concerns and the need for reliable defence partners.

Expanding The BrahMos Missile's Reach

India's focus on defence exports also extends to extending the range of the BrahMos missile from its current 350-400 kilometres to an impressive 800 kilometres. The Indo-Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, known for its versatility and speed, has been integrated into all three branches of the Indian military. While the exact number of BrahMos missiles in India's arsenal remains undisclosed, estimates suggest it could comprise over 1,200 to 1,500 missiles. Additionally, India is actively developing a lighter air-launched variant of the BrahMos, the BrahMos-NG, intended for use by the Indian Air Force, further expanding its reach and capabilities.

India's strides in missile technology and its growing presence in the global defence market are indicative of its commitment to enhancing its defence capabilities and fostering strategic partnerships with like-minded nations. The LRASM test and the potential expansion of defence exports highlight India's readiness to address evolving security challenges and contribute to regional stability in the Indo-Pacific.