|India, Russia in talks for a new missile
NEW DELHI : After their recent success in developing a supersonic cruise missile, Brahmos , India and Russia are negotiating a partnership for developing an ultra long range beyond-visual-range air to air missile.
The missile is at present being developed by the Russian guided weapons builder Novato . Sources indicated that India was involved in the project by way of investment and technical participation. The missile, designated so far as R-172, is being developed by the Russians to be integrated with the fifth generation aircraft Su-35, with New Delhi likely to be a customer for its export version.
The new missile, the sources said, was aimed at engaging high asset airborne targets such as Awacs aircraft, air to ground surveillance and mid air refullers, which normally operate from stand off distance during battles.
The proposed acquisition assumes significance in the wake of recent media reports that Pakistan was in the process of purchasing such a missile from western countries to counter India ?s moves to acquire Israeli Awacs and the recent induction of Uzbek il-78 mid-air refuellers by the IAF.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also currently developing a beyond-visual-range air to air missile astra. DRDO chief, Dr V K Atre recently said that the missile was still in technology demonstrator stage and no tests had been undertaken of the new missile.
Meanwhile, after undergoing six successful flight tests since mid 2001, the naval version of the Brahmos missile has been approved for installation on all surface warships of the navy.