A final shape of the project, aimed at developing the aerial version of BrahMos missile that could traverse at speeds between Mach 5 to Mach 7, would emerge shortly, BrahMos Aerospace CEO and Managing Director A Sivathanu Pillai told mediapersons in Tiruchurapalli on Tuesday.
The design team had already been lined up and discussions would be held shortly between the joint venture partners on investments, sharing of technical responsibilities, administration and sharing of manufacturing facility infrastructure, he said.
Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, which has a capability of carrying 300 kg conventional warheads at a speed of around 2.8 Mach, has already been inducted by the Army and the Navy.
On the new version of BrahMos, Pillai said the preliminary exercise for its induction into the Indian Air Force is already on. Work related to the design and development of this version had been fruitful and the advanced missile, which weighs 0.5 tonne less than that of the 3-tonne land version BrahMos, was ready and the company awaited the modified SUKOI-30 MKI aircraft that would carry the weapon.
Pillai said he was hopeful that the target for induction of the air version set for 2012 would be achieved. After being fitted on an aircraft, BrahMos will be the only cruise missile with the capability of being launched from land, sea and air, he said.
To a query on export potential of BrahMos missile, Pillai said a of number countries evinced keen interest in it, but the priority was to meet the high domestic requirement.
For meeting the demand, the company was in the process of upgrading the production infrastructure at multiple locations besides enhancing component suppliers by including new large and medium sized industries.
Companies like the Larsen Tubro, Godrej, BEML, BHEL and HAL were in the list. On BrahMos Aeropsace's Thiruvananthapuram facility, Pillai said seven acres of land in possession of Indian Air force adjacent to the main campus was expected to be handed over to BrahMos Aerospace shortly.
The facility would be converted into a fully capable Missile Integration Complex to produce components meant for missile programme as well aerospace industries requirements.
The facility would produce core components for ISRO's PSLV and GSLV rockets, missile chambers and control configurations and fabrication of missiles and development of ground system components.
It would also fabricate universal launchers for the aircraft version missiles and is also in the process of obtaining Aerospace Standards Certification AS-9100, he added.
Image: BrahMos missiles displayed at the Republic Day parade