Yury Golotyuk Vremya Novostei, July 3, 2001, p. 3

The Russian missile industry has managed to survive thanks to cooperation with India. Other defense enterprises plan to use this experience for creating new kinds of weapons

The creation of universal ground, sea- and airborne cruise missiles will become one of the basic directions of the rearmament of the Russian Army under the Presidential program for military construction of the Russian Armed Forces. Analysis of the circumstances of the accident involving the Kursk nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea has refuted charges against the Granit missile complex installed on the submarine. Last weekend the Russian Government prolonged the status of “the federal scientific-industrial center” given to NPO Mashinostroenia, designer of the Granit complex. This means that this specific product ranks among those weapons ��� production of which is extremely important for Russia’s defense and security, which is why NPO enjoys state support. First and foremost, the matter concerns cruise missiles created by the company. At the same time, Washington’s plans concerning the anti-missile defense system could make the company’s previous inventions, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, very topical.

This is not the only official confirmation of NPO’s status. In late 2000, Vladimir Putin signed instruction 339-rp, according to which the company “obtained the right to export its military products for the next seven years”. Only six Russian weapons producers have such licenses. However, this permission does not usually exceed three years. The exception made for NPO is linked with a unique scheme realized by the company on global weapon markets. The BraMos joint venture, established in cooperation with the Indian military-industrial complex, is engaged in developing and producing cruise missiles for the Russian and Indian armies. First flight tests of experimental missile have proved the declared characteristics of the “product”. According to NPO General Director Herbert Yefremov, first serial BraMos missiles assembled both in Russia and India are to appear in 2003. Moscow decided to announce its participation in the project after the first successful launch, trying to avoid charges with proliferation of missile technologies (though Delhi tried to prevent this announcement). Formally the tactical-technical characteristics of the missile are not in conflict with international restrictions, although the supersonic BraMos is a new type of weapon against which Western Navies have no defense.

NPO is a unique company since the current economic circumstances are ruinous for Russian defense enterprises producing strategic kinds of weapons. Cooperation with India, which accounts for 75% of NPO’s funding, allows NPO specialists to preserve strategic missiles used by the Russian Strategic Missile Force. In addition, the company has managed to reanimate the program regarding the development of cruise missiles, suspended for almost a decade. The Kremlin is satisfied with BraMos’ experience. According to well-informed sources of Vremya Novostei, the Russian defense industry intends to create other prospective weapons, including the fifth generation fighter and new anti-aircraft complexes, using this scheme.