As India Deepens Ties with Arab World; UAE, Saudi Arabia Seem Interested to Acquire BrahMos Missile

Missiles

New Delhi: After Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia (SA) seemed interested in acquiring Indo-Russian BrahMos missile, as New Delhi looks to bolster its defence ties with the Arab World, according to a media report.

This comes just before the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane’s visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia during which he would meet many officials apart from his counterparts.

The report noted: “In the first-ever visit by any Indian Army Chief to Saudi Arabia, General Naravane is expected to address the Saudi National Defence College, besides other meetings with senior officials.”

Gen Naravane’s visit to UAE comes close on the heels of the recently concluded visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to the region.

“From Middle-East nations including Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia have manifested interest in acquiring the BrahMos missile. The talks are still in the early stages and further discussions put on hold due to the global lockdown following COVID-19,” the report said citing sources.

The recent multiple tests of the BrahMos missile have indeed worked well for the Indo-Russian joint venture. Along with Chinese aggression and asserting own dominance in the region, BrahMos serves as a credible deterrence against hostile vessels being the only successful and operational supersonic anti-ship cruise missile in the world, which even has land-based and aerial-based variants which have seen considerable success and been already integrated with the Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.

The Indian relations with the two Gulf countries have been cordial especially since the election of Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister, who has been to UAE three times and conferred with the highest Emirati honour, Sheikh Zayed Medal.

Even with Saudi Arabia, India openly condemned missile attacks on its Aramco oil facility recently in Jeddah.

Last year when the UAE announced an investment of US$75 billion in India, Saudi Arabia even increased their investment to US$100 billion and invited Indian companies to explore future potentials.

The Reliance-Aramco deal also expresses warming relations among the two countries. The UAE has even expressed its interest in India’s home-grown Akash surface-to-air missiles.

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