In the first export order for the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system, Philippines has approved a $374.96 million contract for the purchase of shore based anti-ship variant of the missile from India, while discussions are ongoing with few other South East Asian counties. Secretary of National Defence of Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana has signed the ‘Notice of award’ for the purchase, the contract for which is expected to be signed very soon.
“As head of procuring entity (HOPE), I recently signed the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy shore-based anti-ship missile acquisition project. Negotiated with the Government of India, it includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package,” Mr. Lorenzana said on social media. Conceptualised as early as 2017, the Office of the President approved its inclusion in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020, he stated.
The coastal defence regiment of the Philippine Marines will be the primary employer of this modern strategic defense capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Mr. Lorenzana added.
While Philippines had raised a unit sometime to operate the missile system, the contract was delayed by couple of years due to the COVID pandemic and budgetary constraints.
The Department of National Defence of Philippines, their equivalent of Ministry of Defence, too confirmed the notification and a copy of the notice of award signed by Mr. Lorenzana on December 31, 2021 was posted on the official website.
“This is to inform you that the proposal of BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd. For the shore based anti-ship missile system acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, with a corresponding price proposal in the amount of $374,962,800 is hereby accepted,” the letter stated. “You are hereby directed to provide, within 10 calendar days from receipt of this notice, the performance security in the form and amount stipulated in the terms of reference,” it added.
As reported by The Hindu earlier, there is interest for acquiring BrahMos missiles from several countries and negotiations are in advanced stages with Indonesia and Thailand.
Discussions with Indonesia are in fairly advanced stage, a defence official said. The sale of BrahMos was also on top of the agenda during the visit of the Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto to New Delhi in July 2020, another official stated.
BrahMos is a joint collaboration between India and Russia and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets and has been long inducted by the Indian armed forces.
The range of the missile was originally capped at 290 kms as per obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Following India’s entry into the club in June 2016, officials said the range would be extended to 450 kms and to 600 kms at a later stage. An extended range missile has already been tested, the latest on January 11 from indigenous guided stealth missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam .