A solid propellant used as booster for the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet in November 2017, will now be mass produced in India, enabling the government to save millions.
"The DRDO will sign an agreement of transfer of technology (ToT) with a Nagpur-based private company for mass production of the boosters during a defence industry development meet at Chennai on Thursday. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hand over the ToT to the company," the defense official told Times of India Wednesday.
High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the booster of the missile with a close coordination with Russian counterpart.
A senior HEMRL scientist, who didn't wish to divulge his identity, was quoted as saying in the report, "Currently, India imports about 35 boosters annually and the demand for the booster is going to be high as IAF will induct more missiles on its fighter jets in the near future. Since the booster will be indigenously made, the maintenance will be timely as well as cost effective," he said, adding that India spends about 15% of the budget on importing the booster from the Russian counterpart.
HEMRL director K P S Murthy said, "We have carried out all the requisite tests of the booster. The results of the tests were positive and validated by Russian experts positively".
The BrahMos missile has been jointly developed by Russian and Indian scientists and is the world's first and only supersonic cruise missile. It is a precision strike weapon for the Indian armed forces and can be fitted in ships, mobile launchers, submarines and aircraft against land and sea targets.
HEMRL is responsible for the design and development of ignition systems for all classes of solid rocket propellants used in the tactical and strategic missile programs of DRDO such as the Pinaka Mk I & Mk-II, Akash, Nirbhay, AAD, Agni program.