Monday, December 31, 2007

BrahMos India's Cruise missile to be made in Kerala from 2008 Jan 1

BrahMos, the world’s fastest cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia, will be produced in Kerala. Defence Minister A K Antony will rename the state-owned Kerala High-Tech Industries Limited (KELTEC) as BrahMos Aerospace (Thiruvananthpuram) Limited today evening. Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan will attend the ceremony.

BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. The Thiruvananthapuram unit will the missile’s second manufacturing hub after Hyderabad. The supersonic cruise missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

BrahMos at speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8 is about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. It claims to have the capability to attack surface targets as low as 10m in altitude and has a maximum range of 290km. According to Sivathanu Pillai, BrahMos CEO the DRDO decided to increase production as it could not meet the growing demand after the army, navy and air force placed more orders.

The projected annual turnover of BrahMos in Kerala is Rs.5 Billion within three years and Rs. 10 Billion in five years. “Kerala can feel proud that it is rolling out the world’s fastest cruise missile and providing for the country’s security. This would bring in a big change in the state’s investment profile as well,” Pillai said after signing the agreement.

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