Kamis, Februari 18, 2010

India ready to export cruise missiles and How about with Pakistan: Official

New Delhi: India, which has built a supersonic cruise missile jointly with Russia, is holding talks with at least four countries to sell the weapons system, a senior Indian official said on Tuesday.

BrahMos Aerospace, a 50:50 tie-up with Russia, needs the approval of both governments to export the weapon which its makers claim is the world's fastestcruise missile, each costing up to three million dollars.

"We are in the process of getting the necessary permission (for sales)," A. Sivathanu Pillai, chief executive officer of BrahMos Aerospace said on the sidelines of an arms expo in New Delhi.

A senior company executive, who asked not to be named, told AFP "serious negotiations" were under way with South Africa, Brazil and Chile for a maritime version of the missile while Indonesia has been offered a land-based BrahMos.

The joint venture stipulates the missile cannot be sold to "unfriendly countries," the 10-billion-dollar joint venture's marketing chief Praveen Pathak added.

The missile can fly at a speed of one kilometre (0.62 mile) a second.

"We have no competition for the next 10 to 15 years from American or the French makers of cruise missiles as the BrahMos is the fastest and most cost-effective system ever to be built," Pillai said.

The BrahMos carries a 200-kilogram (440-pound) conventional warhead, has a range of 280 kilometres (175 miles). Indian and Russian experts started development work on the missile in 2001.

The missile, which gets its name from the rivers of India's Brahmaputra and Russia's Moscova, was inducted into the Indian military in 2007 as a frontline weapons system.

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