FE exclusive: Indonesia to buy BrahMos missile from India? Talks in advance
India’s Act East policy will be bolstered when another export order for the land-based anti-ship variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile by the end of the year is inked. Sources confirmed to Financial Express Online “Discussions with Indonesia are at an advanced stage for the export of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. The deal could have been signed earlier, however, due to this country’s internal issues, by the end of the year or early next year, the deal is expected to be sealed.
Indonesia will become the second ASEAN member country after the Philippines to import missiles from India.
FinancialExpress.com was the first to report in 2018 that Indonesia was among other countries in the region to show interest in the BrahMos missile.
ASEAN nations had approached India for the BrahMos and Akash missiles during the 10 ASEAN leaders meeting at the ASEAN-India Memorial Summit in New Delhi in January 2018.
Read also: Missiles made in India are a hit! Countries all over the world are showing interest in buying BrahMos, Akash
Earlier this year, India and the Philippines signed a $374.96 million contract to supply a land-based anti-ship variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This made the Philippines the first ASEAN member country to import missiles from India.
The BrahMos missile that Indonesia should import from India will equip its warships. A team from the BrahMos Aerospace joint venture between New Delhi and Moscow has already visited the Indonesian shipyard to study the possibility of installing the missile.
The BrahMos is a ramjet-powered, short-range supersonic cruise missile and, according to the company, it can be launched from aircraft, ships, land platforms and submarines. And this missile can fly at a speed of 2.8 Mach, the equivalent of three times the speed of sound.
The BrahMos, which was developed on a small budget of $300 million, is also sought after by other countries in the region, including: Malaysia which is about to announce its final decision to purchase light combat aircraft (LCA), Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Read also: First export of missiles from India! After the ASEAN nation, the next could be the United Arab Emirates
Financial Express Online earlier reported that Vietnam was in negotiations with India for BrahMos and Akash missiles. Talks are also underway with Malaysia for the BrahMos missile, these are only at the initial stage.
With the deal with Indonesia due to be sealed late this year or early next year, it will give India a strategic foothold in the region and boost the economy.
The announcement of the sale of the BrahMos missile to the Philippines was initially made by the Russian side in New Delhi. Russia will have no objection to export to Indonesia as it already sells Su-27 fighter jets as well as Kilo class submarines to this country.
Indonesian and Indian military cooperation
Bilateral relations between the two countries have deepened over the years. Indonesia is considered an important partner in India’s “Act East” policy. In 2018, Financial Express Online reported that the bilateral relationship between the two countries was elevated to “”Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country.
The main pillar of this partnership is based on maritime security and defense and security cooperation. And in 2018, the first ever bilateral exercise between Indian Navy and Indonesian Navy “Samudra Shakti” took place. This first exercise focused on improving interoperability, expanding maritime cooperation and exchanging best practices.
India and Indonesia are neighbors on the Indian Ocean coastline and both sides have worked to strengthen military ties.
Given China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its activities near the Natuna Islands, India and Indonesia are striving to deepen maritime cooperation and ensure secure maritime lines of communication in the wider Indo-Pacific.