New Delhi: Speaking on the occasion of the formal induction of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos into the Indian Army's inventory, the president, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said that the country has to aggressively market this world-class product, "which will have a market shelf life of not more than 5 years."
The president said that there would be competitors who would be developing contemporary products, which would be detrimental for market leadership. 'No smart developer can afford to lose the competitive edge which he has generated and hence increasing the orders and continuously improving the products have to be aggressively pursued,' he said.
The President said that the time has come for BrahMos Aerospace to work on the Mark-II version of BrahMos, so that it will still be the market leader in hypersonic cruise missiles.
'In the emerging network centric warfare scenario, the fast deployment of hypersonic missile systems will be necessary to maintain our force level supremacy. I visualize long-range hypersonic cruise missiles not only delivering payloads but also returning to the base after the mission, leading to re-usable class of cruise missiles within the next decade. It is time that the three services work with the team of BrahMos Aerospace to evolve the QR for such a system in a time bound manner', he said.
Describing the BrahMos joint venture programme between Indian and Russia as a 'great template' for international cooperation, the President said it combined the core competence of the two countries for realizing a high-technology product in an extremely competitive global defence market with minimum investment from each side.
The President also recalled that when India launched the SLV-3 and later flight tested the Agni and carried out a nuclear test "we were the fifth or sixth country to develop and test these systems.
"I have all the time been asking, when we can be the first in the world? I am happy that BrahMos has given us that opportunity to be the first in the world," he said.
Kalam congratulated scientists of both the countries who made remarkable contributions in realizing this world-class product in time for delivery in global market.