Philippines to buy BrahMos missile system from India for $375 million

In a major fillip to India’s hopes of becoming an exporter of defence platforms, the Philippines signed a deal to buy three batteries of the BrahMos missile, which is developed jointly by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya.

The deal is worth nearly $375 million, and is India’s first significant defence export. The missiles are manufactured by Barhmos Aerospace in India.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement on Friday that BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) signed a contract with the Department of National Defense of the Republic of Philippines on January 28, 2022 for supply of Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile System to Philippines.

“The BAPL is a joint venture company of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The contract is an important step forward for Government of India’s policy of promoting responsible defence exports.”

While the formal contract was signed on Friday, the Philippines had given a go ahead for the deal on December 31, 2021. Its National Defense department had sent a Notice of Award to BAPL, which mentioned that BAPL’s proposal for the shore-based anti-ship acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, with a corresponding price proposal” for US$ 374,962,800 “is hereby accepted”.

While the Philippines has become the first nation to which India will export the missile system, sources said that several other nations in Southeast Asia have expressed interest in buying it, including Vietnam and Thailand.

The deal with the Philippines is also significant, as like India, the country has seen its relationship with China sour, as Beijing has been making aggressive moves in the South China Sea. Additionally, Philippine fishermen also have to face the Little Blue Men, as China’s maritime militia is called. India too has been involved in an over 21-month long standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, which remains unresolved.

BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile, which can reach a maximum speed of 2.8 mach, or 2.8 times the speed of sound.

It has a 300 km to 500 km range, and is a short-range, ramjet-powered, single warhead, supersonic anti-ship or land attack cruise missile. It can be launched from the ground, submarine, surface ships and fighter jets.

Recently, on January 11, India successfully test-fired the extended range sea-to-sea variant of the missile from the Navy’s INS Vishakhapatnam.

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