India delivers first batch of BrahMos to Philippines

This is the first export order for the supersonic cruise missile, a joint venture between India and Russia

April 19, 2024 07:55 pm | Updated April 20, 2024 06:26 am IST - New Delhi

The batch was transported on an Indian Air Force aircraft that landed in Philippines on Friday afternoon

The batch was transported on an Indian Air Force aircraft that landed in Philippines on Friday afternoon | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

India delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to Philippines on Friday. In January 2022, Philippines concluded a $375-million deal with India for three batteries of shore-based, anti-ship variant of the BrahMos becoming the first export customer for the joint venture missile between India and Russia.

The first batch was delivered onboard transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force which landed in Philippines on Friday afternoon. Specifics of the delivery made were not immediately available. Philippines is acquiring the systems under the Horizon 2 of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Programme.

The delivery comes amid the showdown between Philippines and China in the South China Sea which has been ongoing for the last few months and will significantly augment the defensive posture of the Philippines armed forces once the systems are operationalised.

During his visit to Philippines in March, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in a meeting with the Secretary of National Defence of Philippines Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. reaffirmed India’s commitment to upholding a rules-based international order and promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. “During the high-level meeting, Secretary Teodoro welcomed India’s unwavering support for the Philippines’ position on the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea issue,” the Philippines Ministry of the armed forces said in a statement.

In January 2022, then Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, who signed the contract, had said, “As the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missiles, the BrahMos missiles will provide deterrence against any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the West Philippine Sea.”

The contract includes the delivery of three missile batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support package. The coastal defence regiment of the Philippine Marines will be the primary user of the missile systems.

From January 23 to February 11, 2023, 21 Philippine Navy personnel were trained in the operations and maintenance of the systems in Nagpur and were awarded interim missile badges by Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar after they completed the operator training.

As reported earlier, several countries have expressed interest in acquiring BrahMos systems and discussions are in advanced stages with Indonesia and Thailand among others.

BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and the missile derives its name from Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers. The missile 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 290km as per obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime. Following India’s entry into the club in June 2016, the range has been extended to 450km and work is on to extend it to 600km and beyond.

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