|CGI of a Su-30MKI firing a BrahMos cruise missile|
Months of speculation about the possible development of an air-launched version of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile finally came to a head, with India and Russia announcing they had signed a co-development deal, with plans for a test-fire within six months.
The deal was made public a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi to attend a one-day summit on Monday, where he held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Prior to his departure, Putin pledged to strengthen defense ties with India. In an op-ed published in The Hindu, Putin emphasized that joint development of advanced weapons, rather than the traditional purchase by India of Russian technology, would be “key to future relations.”
India is the world’s largest arms importer, with Russian technology accounting for between 60 and 70 percent of total acquisitions. New Delhi intends to spend upwards of U.S.$100 billion over the next decade to upgrade its predominantly Soviet-era military.
My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.