Missiles for Mumbai

By investing in their own defence technologies, India is sure to boost their ability to protect themselves tenfold.


Naval News

A modified Sukhoi Su-30MKI of the Indian Air Force (IAF) firing an air-launched version of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile from Integrated Test Range in Chandipur during trials in December of 2021.

Ishan Pahwa, Staff Writer

   On Jan. 11, the top arms buyer for the nation of India approved a new budget to acquire weapons specifically from domestic corporations. 

   The deal comes in at 42.76 billion Rupees, or approximately $522.17 million U.S. dollars and approves a wide variety of weapons. Most notably, the budget approves the “Helina” anti-tank missile, very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) systems for the Indian Army, and the “Brahmos” missile launcher and accompanying fire control systems for certain Indian Navy frigates, according to Yahoo! News.

     The “Halina” anti-tank missile, launchers and other assorted support equipment are expected to be integrated into advanced light helicopters (ALH) of the Indian Army. The missile in question is a third-generation missile system with a seven kilometer (four mile) total range. In addition, it is equipped with a state-of-the-art “fire and forget” system, whereby the missile does not need to be guided onto its target after being fired. They are constructed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO), and it can engage a wide variety of targets in direct attack or top-attack mode. Furthermore, the missiles can engage enemy armored targets in all-weather conditions, regardless of whether the targets have conventional or explosive-reactive armour (ERA). 

   In addition to the anti-tank missiles, the budget also consists of the very short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) system also developed by Defence Research and Development (DRDO). The system is capable of firing infrared homing missiles that are designed to shoot down aerial enemies at a range of seven kilometers (four miles). The missiles are man-portable, thereby making it light enough for a soldier to carry. The missiles come at a crucial time, as tensions with India and neighboring China begin to tense.

   “In view of the recent developments along the Northern borders there is a need to focus on effective air defence weapon systems which are man-portable and can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain and maritime domain,” the Ministry of Defence stated. 

   The final part of the budget concerns the Indian Navy and will include the fastest supersonic anti-ship cruise missile in the world: Brahmos. Co-developed by Russia and India, the missile takes its name from two rivers based in the countries that developed it: the Brahmaputra (“Son of Brahma” from Sanskrit) in India and the Moskva (“Moscow” from Russian) in Russia. The missiles are to be equipped onto Shivalik-class frigates as well as next-generation missile-carrying vessels of the Navy. Both the next-generation vessels as well as the Shivalik-class frigates are constructed by domestic companies, Cochin Shipyard Ltd. and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd., respectively. 

   Ajay Bhatt, the Ministry of State, informed the Indian Parliament last month that 163 proposals, worth a combined 2.46 trillion Rupees (over $30 billion USD), had been granted acceptance of necessity, intended to promote domestic manufacturing. In addition, Mr. Bhatt claims that the Indian government has made efforts in reducing its foreign defence procurement spending percentage from 46% down to 36%.