India plans to buy medium-range, anti-ship missiles for its naval ships, and is polling industry on its options.

The missiles “will be utilized for engaging identified surface targets by the Indian navy,” a defense ministry official says.

The ministry of defense has issued a request for information for the missiles, which must have a range of at least 120 km (75 mi.). The official declined to specify the number of missiles the Indian navy proposes to buy.

Once prospective vendors respond, they will have to be cleared by a technical evaluation committee. Selected systems will then be put through field trials on a no-cost/no-commitment basis. A short list of candidates will emerge from the trials, at which point a contract negotiation committee will determine the lowest cost bidder and draw up the contract.

The Indian navy already has inducted a naval version of its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile into service, along with the nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile. Based on the Russian-built P-800 Oniks/Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, the 290-km range BrahMos has a speed of Mach 2.8 and can also be launched from land, submarines and aircraft.

BrahMos photo: PIB