NEW DELHI: The arrest of Nishant Agarwal , a Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) employee suspected of sharing classified information about the nuclear capable BrahMos Cruise missile jointly produced by India and Russia, to Pakistan evoked a guarded response from Russian sources.
Stressing that they did not have enough knowledge about what exactly had been leaked, sources said Russia was fully confident in India’s ability to protect sensitive material, but “obviously such incidents should be of concern to both nations.”
Russia would be very happy to help augment security for such material, “only if required or requested by the Indian side,” said one source, reiterating that this incident would in no way undermine the relationship between the two nations.
“The fact that the person was caught is sign of the robustness of the Indian security system, and this incident will make absolutely no impact on our strategic partnership, reinforced during President Putin’s recent visit to India,” said another source.
Billed as the fastest cruise missile in the world, the BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile was developed as part of a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s DRDO. Last November, an Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet successfully launched a variant of the BrahMos missile from the air, completing India’s nuclear Triad, or the ability to launch a nuclear missile from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land.
Though there have been attempts to diversify sources, Russian equipment still forms the backbone of India’s military backbone, and reports estimate that Russian equipment still forms between 60 to 70% of the Indian arsenal, imports.