BrahMos Missiles To Helicopters: Govt Clears Defence Proposals Worth Rs 70,000 Crore

The defence ministry has approved proposals worth over Rs 70,000 crore for buying weapons systems for the Indian armed forces, officials said on Thursday.

The approval was granted during a meeting of the defence acquisition council headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The council approved the proposals to buy 60 Made-in-India utility helicopter marines and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles for Indian Navy, 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzers for Indian Army, and 9 ALH Dhruv choppers for the Indian Coast Guard.

The ATAGS is a 155mm, 52-calibre towed howitzer jointly developed by DRDO and private sector firms. It has a range of over 40km and can fire five rounds in less than two minutes. The gun’s advanced features such as an automated ammunition handling system, an onboard computer system, and a digitized fire control system, make it a formidable artillery system.

The ALH Dhruv choppers are indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). They are widely used by the Indian armed forces for various roles such as troop transport, casualty evacuation, and reconnaissance. The chopper’s advanced avionics, night vision capabilities, and modern communication systems make it a versatile and reliable platform for military operations.

The order for the 60 UH Marine choppers for the Indian Navy from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will cost the government Rs 32,000 crore. These choppers are designed to operate in harsh maritime environments and can be used for a variety of roles such as troop transport, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. The UH Marine choppers are expected to significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s capabilities.

The purchase of 200 additional BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, which will have an increased range, will be used on the Navy’s frontline warships. 

BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles are a joint venture between India and Russia. They are one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world, with a top speed of Mach 3.0. With a range of 290 km, they can be launched from land, sea, or air. Their high speed and accuracy make them a potent weapon in modern warfare.

These missiles will be deployed on the four Project-15B destroyers (two of which, INS Visakhapatnam and INS Mormugao, have already been commissioned) as well as on seven Project-17A frigates. Five of these frigates have been launched so far. The procurement would also assist the Indian Navy in stockpiling missiles for deployment aboard warships and as part of the force’s mobile coastal missile batteries

Brahmos Aerospace, led by Atul Rane, is also trying to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s USD 5 billion export objective. The Chairman of BrahMos indicated that after the initial export transaction with the Philippines for $375 million, his team aimed for USD 5 billion by 2025.

The missile system is being supplied to the Philippines as well. The Philippines Marine Corps has also received training at the BrahMos facility in India, and more of their batches will be trained here in the future.

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