India-Russia joint venture hopes for $5 billion in supersonic missile exports by 2025

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An India-Russia joint venture that makes nuclear capable supersonic cruise missiles hopes to bag orders worth $5 billion by 2025, its chairman said on Tuesday, having signed its first export deal of $375 million this year with the Philippines.

BrahMos Aerospace is in discussions with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam for new orders, chairman Atul D Rane told Reuters partner ANI on Tuesday.

The joint venture, with a 50.5% Indian and 49.5% Russian partnership, fits into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship make-in-India programme.

India has made Russian MiG fighter planes and Su-30 jets under license and the two have collaborated to make BrahMos missiles in India. Russia has also traditionally been India’s main arms supplier.

In April last year, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had said the two countries were discussing “additional” production of Russian military equipment in India.

India, which has not explicitly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has also emerged as Moscow’s second-largest oil customer after China as Indian refiners snap up discounted Russian oil shunned by some Western buyers.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a target of achieving $5 billion (in defense exports) by 2025. I hope BrahMos themselves will be able to reach the $5 billion target by 2025,” Rane said.

India’s defense forces currently uses the BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic missile, which can be launched from land, sea and sub-sea platforms.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi; Editing by Alison Williams)

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