According to the Times of India, the government of India plans to export Akash surface-to-air Missile systems and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the friendly countries in order to bolster strategic ties. The case for exporting BrahMos missiles, developed jointly with Russia, to the Philippines is already with the Cabinet Committee for Security for final approval, says the local sources.
The following country on the list is Indonesia, while Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa have also shown an interest in acquiring the 290-km range BrahMos, which has emerged as the “precision-strike weapon of choice” for Indian armed forces.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria.
Selling Brahmos missiles to Pacific countries can be seen as a challenge to China, especially to Vietnam.
There are problems in bilateral relations between Vietnam and China due to the delimination of exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. After having reached an economic power to some extent, China started to develop its military power, especially its naval power. China’s revisionist policies towards its neighbors in the East and South China seas have created anxiety over the region countries. With the encouragement of the USA, the regional countries have already started to form a coalition against China. In the past, China fought India and Vietnam separately.
China sees India selling BrahMos to Vietnam as an act of belligerence and interference in the South China Sea dispute. The Chinese Government has major objections about Vietnam getting these missiles for its navy. Consequently, Vietnam percepts China’s rising naval power as a threat to itself, and buys Brahmos from India to protect its borders against the Chinese navy.
Since the region countries are no able to struggle with China alone, the smartest solution is to collaborate against China such as India and Vietnam’s cooperation.
Brahmos supersonic missile :
The BrahMos is a medium-range, ramjet, supersonic anti-ship missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It was developed jointly by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. It is heavily based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moscow of Russia.
The Brahmos is considered one of the most effective and lethal anti-ship missile due to the fact that it is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation, with speeds reaching Mach 2.8 to 3.0. BrahMos has the capability of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 5 metres in altitude, although it has a maximum altitude as high as 14,000 metres.
The high speed of the BrahMos gives it better target-penetration characteristics than lighter subsonic cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk. Its extended weight and high speed give the BrahMos more on-cruise kinetic energy, although it carries a lighter payload than the Tomahawk, suggesting the missile was designed with different tactical roles in mind. Its ultra-high speed of Mach 2.8 means it cannot be intercepted by some existing missile defence systems, and its precision makes it a superior and lethal weapon for water targets.