Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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21-06-2007 : New Delhi
Supersonic Cruise Missile: BRAHMOS

Competitiveness has three dimensions:
Quality, Cost and just-in-time in market


I am indeed delighted to participate in the function marking the commencement of delivery of BRAHMOS weapon systems to the Indian Army. My hearty congratulations to Army for the acquisition of BRAHMOS. It is a historic day for the Indian-Russian cooperation and the Joint Venture BRAHMOS, which has grown from strength to strength during the last nine years. My Greetings to the BrahMos team from India and Russia. I would like to recall the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2007 in Rajpath, where Russian President H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin was the Chief Guest. H.E. Mr. Putin, Honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and myself were witnessing various displays depicting Indian culture, civilizational heritage, technological progress and defence capabilities. It was a proud moment for us and both our countries, when we saw BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile systems moving in front of us as part of the Republic Day contingent. Both H.E. Mr. Putin and myself agreed, BRAHMOS joint venture programme between India and Russia is indeed a great template for international cooperation. This is a unique cooperation, conceived and implemented for combining the core competence of India and Russia for realizing a high technology product in an extremely competitive Global Defence Market with minimum investment from each side. At this point I would like to discuss in detail "Supersonic Cruise Missile: BRAHMOS".


Quality of the Programme

What have we learnt from BRAHMOS? Through this programme, India has successfully demonstrated a new way of thinking and action for a joint venture between Indian defence organization and Russian defence organization, in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing a state-of-the-art missile system.

What is the uniqueness of BRAHMOS Joint Venture Programme? This programme has not been a ?soft? programme where MoUs get signed and the activities allowed to take place in a natural pace. BRAHMOS has been a ?hard? programme for mutual benefit, where a modest 250 million US dollars were invested initially by India and Russia equally shared and today we have an order book worth 2 US billion dollars and serious business interest exists for order of an equal amount. The robust design, development and manufacture have been accomplished by the Indian and Russian R&D teams, academia and the industries in partnership with Armed Forces through intense connectivity and partnership. The core competencies of both the countries have thus been synergized through the innovative BRAHMOS joint venture in a mission mode to realize the state-of-the-art supersonic cruise missile system for world market. The combined efforts particularly design robustness have ensured that every flight conducted was a total success, which is unique in this field, as the specialists would appreciate.


Leadership in Strategic Technology

In the Indian history it is the first time, a world class supersonic missile what the world needs today, has been made available by the scientific and industrial community well ahead of time. With such capability, I believe that we have to aggressively market this world class product which will have a market shelf life of not more than 5 years. What is market shelf life? Naturally, there will be competitors who would be developing contemporary products which will be detrimental to the market leadership. No smart developer can afford to lose the competitive edge which he has generated and hence increasing the orders and continuously improving the products have to be aggressively pursued.

When India launched SLV-3 and later flight tested AGNI and carried out a nuclear test, we were the fifth or sixth country to develop and test these systems. I have all the time been asking, when we can be the first in the world? I am happy that BRAHMOS has given us that opportunity to be the first in the world. I am fully aware of the programme right from the time it was seeded. DRDO and the Russian development organization have made unique contribution in establishing and nurturing this venture during the last decade. I congratulate Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO from India and academician Dr. Yefremov, Director General, NPOM from Russia, who have made remarkable contributions in realizing this world class product in time for delivery in international market. I also appreciate the contribution of DRDO, Ministry of Defence and the Government of Russia in creating and promoting such a venture.


Conclusion: Next Generation BRAHMOS

BRAHMOS will definitely enhance the fighting capability of the Army and the soldiers will have the pride of using an indigenously developed missile system. I am sure the BRAHMOS team will keep up the development spirit and continue to provide state-of-the-art system to the Armed Forces. Time has come for BrahMos Aerospace to work on Mark-II version of BRAHMOS so that you will still be the market leader in hypersonic cruise missiles. In the emerging network centric warfare scenario, the fast deployment of hypersonic missile systems will be necessary to maintain our force level supremacy. I visualize long range hypersonic cruise missiles not only delivering pay loads but also returning to the base after the mission, leading to re-usable class of cruise missiles within the next decade. It is time that the three services work with the team of BrahMos Aerospace to evolve the QR for such a system in a time bound manner.

I once again congratulate the members of DRDO, NPOM, BRAHMOS, the members of Public and Private sector industries associated with the project and the members of the Indian Army, who have evaluated and accepted the product for induction in the service. My best wishes to all the participants for success in their missions.

May God bless you.

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam




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