20 September 2011
Brahmos air launched version (photo : Bharat Rakshak)
The BrahMos Aerospace —the Indo-Russian joint venture that has developed the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile — is keen to sell the missile to Vietnam with which India is developing a strong strategic relationship, sources have confirmed.
However, the Indian government’s approval will have to be taken for any such acquisition. Sources also confirmed that Vietnam is already on a list of about 15 “friendly countries” — that was decided by a joint Indo-Russian supervisory council — to whom the BrahMos missile can be sold.
“Informal talks are on but no concrete proposal has been made as yet,” a source who did not want to be identified, told this newspaper. “Any acquisition of the BrahMos missile will be of immense value to Vietnam and will boost its defence preparedness,” sources said.
So far, the BrahMos missile has not been sold to any third country although a few have already evinced interest in acquiring it.
In a move that signalled the importance of strategic ties between India and Vietnam in the wake of increased Chinese military assertion in Asia, defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma had also recently begun an official visit to Vietnam. India is set to offer naval facilities for training and capacity building to Vietnam.