India in joint cruise test

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Indian-Russian joint venture Brhamos is planning to display its new cruise missile at next month's Moscow air show. The weapon was test fired for the first time last month at an Indian test range.

Brhamos has been formed by Moscow-based NPO Machinostroyenia and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The former is providing the 6.9m- (22.6ft) long missile and its propulsion system while DRDO has developed the guidance and navigation system.

The joint venture aims to offer the 280km-range (150nm) Mach 2.8-3.0 anti-ship cruise missile for export from 2003. The 3t weapon is being developed for use from ships, submarines, aircraft and mobile ground launchers. The Indian navy operates Tupolev Tu-95 Bears and is set to receive three Tupolev Tu-22M Backfires.Both types could be armed with such a weapon.

The missile, known as the PJ-10 but likely to be renamed, will provide the Indian navy with a counter to China's Sovremenny-class destroyers, which are fitted with Raduga 3M-80 Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) supersonic anti-ship missiles.

India is seeking guarantees from Tel Aviv that a planned $1 billion purchase of three Elta Phalcon airborne early warning (AEW)systems will not be hindered by US pressure.