Defense Minister A.K. Antony updated the Parliament that the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos has been inducted into the Defense forces and the Trishul anti-Missile project completed while the Akash and Nag missile programs are behind schedule.
Antony said that the BrahMos missile with "devastating destruction capability" was inducted into the defensive system after several successful field and flight trials and has been proven to be accurate against ships and land targets. He said that the Indian Army and Navy have both accepted the BrahMos system and placed orders for production. The induction process on ships is progressing while the Army's process will start in 2007. Antony reminded the Parliament that the missile system, co-developed with Russia, is "best in the class" and also has tremendous market potential internationally. However, the Indian and Russian Governments need to take a joint decision on the countries which may qualify to buy the missile system.
The Defense Minister said that the user requirements for the Air Force have been met for the Trishul Missile Project which he says is now complete. The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is now working with the Indian Air Force to develop user trial criteria and acceptance parameters. This short range quick reaction surface to air missile has gone through 50 tests and has cost Rs. 275 crore (USD 59 million) to develop and DRDO has no other equivalent missile programs. Antony assured the Parliament that there is multi-tier monitoring system that includes representatives from the user community, finance, production, and inspection agencies and are empowered to initiate action to arrest cost escalation and schedule delays.
However, the Akash and Nag missile systems' schedules have slipped many times from July 1995 to December 2006 due to international sanctions, embargos, and restraints placed on India before and after the nuclear tests and also the time required to develop a state-of-the0art technology. Antony did not say why there was such as large schedule disparity and how DRDO plans to address such large disparity in the future. The two missiles have gone through 40 tests each to prove various subsystems and integrated systems and is now ready for the user trial phase after which they can get into production and induction.