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'We have developed a world-class weapon system'


Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace.

BRAHMOS is the fusion of great scientific minds of two countries that has helped to design and develop a world-class weapon system with unparalleled capabilities. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with BrahMos Aerospace CEO and Managing Director Dr. A Sivathanu Pillai published in The Indian Express (IE).

IE: BrahMos is a successful Indo-Russia joint venture, what has led to it success?

Dr. A S Pillai: The very will to develop a world class weapon system by pooling in scientific know-how and technological resources from the both countries was the basis of foundation of the JV. It is the fusion of great scientific minds of two countries that help design and develop such a weapon system with unparalleled capabilities. The essence of the success is the use of high-end technologies substantiated by the supremacy of the design that ensure reliability. Apart from that, the following factors contributed towards the success of the JV:

• Constant support of both governments, synergy in thinking backed by mutually agreed share of core competencies, process stocks and funding;
• Special arrangement made in terms of management and functioning of the JV due to which the inherent advantages of the normal system resulting in wastage of time were removed, adoption of best practices of corporate governance, the involvement of the user right from the design stage;
• Integration of public-private industries as a consortium;
• In addition, the system underwent constant capability upgradation so as to ensure that technological superiority.

IE: According to recent reports, BRAHMOS will be inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2012. How will it provide superiority to the IAF in comparison to other countries?

Dr. A S Pillai: The very essence of carrying a weapon system on board on aircraft is to possess the capability of engaging targets from a stand-off distance. Air launched BRAHMOS provides this capabilities to our Air Force with distinct superiority in terms of stand-off distance, range, accuracy and lethality vis-a-vis the Air Force of other countries. With the rare combination of the refueling capability and stand-off range of BrahMos, the IAF can now engage many targets.

IE: How many missiles has the Indian Army inducted?

Dr. A S Pillai: The Indian Army has inducted the weapon system in numbers based on its perceived operational requirements. The induction has been phased so as to ensure longevity of the system and is ongoing till such time the operational necessities are fulfilled.

IE: India is buying arms rapidly and many countries are in the race to supply their latest weapons and technology to the Indian armed forces. Do you see this as a challenge?

Dr. A S Pillai: No developed country will want to part with an advanced weapon system of the magnitude and capability. So buying of arms will give only limited advantage with large sums of money going outside. But today, India has a weapon system which even developed countries don't possess. BRAHMOS has no parallel in the world in terms of combination of speed, range, lethality and survivability. Even the developed countries, who have embarked upon gaining such capability, are likely to take considerable time to reach this stage. Moreover, through regular capability upgradation by way of use of new high-end technologies, BRAHMOS is bound to maintain the superiority. The Indian Army is the only land force in the world to have such an advanced weapon system. The manufacturing of BRAMOS in large numbers will grow Indian industry and economy, ultimately increasing self-reliance.

IE: What role did the private sector play in BRAHMOS success?

Dr. A S Pillai: BRAHMOS for the first time, with government approval, established a consortium of public-private industries, which took part in development, proving and finally in bulk production. The major private companies took keen interest in participating in production activities, even though they have to establish production infrastructure along with the test facilities at their own cost in their respective premises. The industries also were very fast to absorb new technologies that were required for fabrication of certain critical items. Overall analysis indicates that the private sector companies contributed to a great extent in the success of this JV.

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