Philippine MoD press release
A ceremonial contract signing for the Shore-based Anti-ship Missile System acquisition project for the Philippine Navy worth Php 18.9 Billion from Brahmos Aerospace was held today at the Department of National Defense.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana signed on behalf of the DND, while its Director-General, Mr, Atul Dinkar Rane, signed for Brahmos Aerospace. Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran was present to physically represent the Indian side in the event.
First conceptualized in 2017, the Philippines will acquire three (3) batteries.
“Equipping our Navy with this vital asset is imperative as the Philippines continues to protect the integrity of its territory and defend its national interests. 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.”
Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, Philippines Defense Secretary
Naval News Comment:
The Philippines have shown interest in the purchase of the BrahMos since 2016. It was reported that negotiations were underway since 2019 regarding the procurement of two mobile batteries for the Philippine Army under the Land-Based Missile System (LBMS) program.
On March 2, 2021, the Philippines and India signed a government-to-government agreement on defense equipment procurement, paving the way for the sale of the missile to the Philippines.
On January 12, 2022, the Philippines Department of National Defense issued a notice of award indicating the government’s approval to procure the BrahMos shore-based anti-ship missile system from India.
Following today’s signing ceremony, the Philippines became the BrahMos missile’s first export customer. The contract, according to India’s DRDO, is a major step forward in the Government of India’s strategy of supporting responsible defense exports.
The Philippines are worried about the dominance of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy), which controls many islets in the region. The Brahmos procurement would offer the Philippines a way to deter China’s expansionism and somewhat restore the military balance between the two countries.
The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can target ship and land targets and can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land. It is designed by Brahmos Aerospace, a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The baseline Brahmos ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) has a launch range of approximately 290 km (180 miles) and a speed of Mach 2.8-3.0. In 2016, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and got the right to develop cruise missiles with extended launch ranges for the national armed forces. In March 2017, the Indian defense industry tested an extended-range variant of the missile known as Brahmos-ER (ER for Extended Range), which was reported to be able to hit targets at a distance of approximately 400 km.
BrahMos-II is a hypersonic cruise missile currently under development and is estimated to have a range of 600 km and a speed of Mach 8. BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) is a mini version based on the existing BrahMos. While it has a similar 290 km range and Mach 3.5 speed, it is much smaller to be able to be deployed from Indian Air Force aircraft such as Mig-29K, HAL Tejas, or Dassault Rafale.