New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) In a big boost to India’s defence manufacturing, the Philippines has become the first foreign nation to place an order for the purchase of BrahMos shore-based supersonic cruise missile systems for its Navy, amid the tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea.
The Philippines has accepted Indian BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd’s proposal worth USD 374.9 million to supply a Shore-based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project for its navy, according to reports.
The Notice of Award has been communicated to BrahMos officials by the Philippines’ Department of National Defense.
Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted as saying that he has signed the Notice of Award for the Philippines Navy Shore-based Anti-Ship Missile Acquisition Project.
It includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Supply package. He said the Coastal Defense Regiment of the Philippine Marines will be the primary employer of this modern strategic defense capability.
Lorenzana has been intent on acquiring the medium-range ramjet supersonic BrahMos cruise missile system from India for the Philippine Navy, and has described the missile system as “one of the most sophisticated in the world.”
The Philippines was to purchase the missile systems last year but the rising Covid cases caused delay in firming up the purchase.
The Philippine Inquirer daily said in a December 31, 2021 report that after more than a year’s delay, “the Department of National Defense (DND) can finally proceed with its acquisition of cruise missiles from India, following the approval of funds worth Peso 2.83 billion for release by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“The DBM had on December 27 issued two special allotment release orders (Saros) — one for P1.3 billion and the other for P1.53 billion, to cover initial funding requirements for the Philippine Navy’s shore-based anti-ship missile system acquisition project.”
The BrahMos cruise missile can be launched from a ship, aircraft, submarine, or land and has a top speed of Mach 3 and is capable of carrying warheads weighing 200 kg. to 300 kg.
The acquisition of a land-based missile system is under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program, which is slated for 2018 to 2022 and geared for the acquisition of equipment for external defense. It has a budget of PHP300 billion.
BrahMos is a Joint Venture between India (DRDO) and Russia (NPOM), and specializes in the production of supersonic cruise missile systems. The BrahMos weapon system is already inducted into the Armed Forces.
Vietnam, which too is facing territorial problems with Beijing in the South China Sea, is also keen to purchase the BrahMos missile systems from India.