BANGALORE: Outgoing BrahMos Aerospace CEO A Sivathanu Pillai has in his latest book, The Path Unexplored, captured some of the unknown tales of India’s supersonic cruise missile BrahMos. Claiming the Indo-Russian BrahMos joint venture (JV) as the most-successful defence cooperation in the world, the book says that sharing of expertise between the two countries in various missile technologies has made the BrahMos the most powerful one in its class.
“The path that we travelled was not at all smooth. Lots of blood and sweat have been shed to achieve the present-level of success. Our achievements have resulted into an integrated defence company in India, taking care of design, development, production, marketing and product support. Many of our methodologies were daring and never before attempted,” Pillai says in the book.
Sharing experiences of various flight trials, the book captures the story behind the out-of-the-box-thinking that resulted in the launch of BrahMos from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “We decided to conduct a flight trial in the Andaman Islands, as it was not possible for us to locate land target in the mainland of India. Everyone said it would not be possible to get the environmental clearance because of the presence of rare species of flora and fauna in most of the uninhabited islands and those occupied by the tribal natives. But, we convinced the authorities that the missile is so accurate and the target will be positioned in the large sandy area surrounded by rocks and a few coconut trees. We assured them that even a single coconut tree will not be affected,” recalls Pillai in the book, which is split into 10 sections.
The Navy’s decision to fire BrahMos from INS Rajput to test various flight profiles and validate the missile’s targeting capability was a challenge to team BrahMos. “The Navy’s decommissioned ship ‘Ex INS Androth’ was the target this time. The missile pierced the target and we sent a chopper to see the target’s status. The first message was that the target was looking normal, post-impact. As the helicopter approached the vessel, the pilot spotted a “big hole in the target”. This is called a Bull’s Eye hit. The trial was a great success and the Navy had a grand party at sea onboard INS Rajput,” says the book. A formal presentation of the book is being held at the BrahMos HQ in Delhi on July 14.
Published by Pentagon Press and priced at Rs 995, the book features a forward from India’s missile man and former President A P J Abdul Kalam.