Following India’s success in selling the “Brahmos” anti-ship missile system to Philippines a few months ago, New Delhi now feels that it has the opportunity to sell other Indian-made weapons systems to Phillipines, including Tejas fighter jets which are also offered to Malaysia.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which manufacturers Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, is now trying to attract Phillipines to buy this aircraft which is the pride of the Indian Defense Industry.
After being inducted into the Indian Air Force, HAL is searching foreign markets for its Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. HAL is also in pressure from the government of India to sell Tejas to its first export market.
This is because India’s traditional enemy, Pakistan has been successful in selling the competitor of Tejas, the JF-17 Thunder to several foreign countries. The JF-17 was developed in a Joint Venture by China and Pakistan.
It seems “embarrassing” for India to not been able to sell Tejas to any foreign country. Meanwhile India’s enemies China and Pakistan has been able to export their developed fighter aircrafts to many foreign countries.
Recently Indian Media has reported that HAL has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation.
Sources quoted by Indian Media said the Philippines is considering several Indian-made weapons systems such as helicopters and fighter aircrafts for use by the Philippine Military.
While there have been attempts to draw Manila’s attention towards Tejas fighter aircraft, its chances of achieving that success are low as the Philippines is currently using a FA-50 aircraft made by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) from South Korea.
The Philippines is said to be trying to increase the number of FA-50 aircraft or buy single-engine fighters such as the F-16 Viper and Saab Gripen.
The Philippine military’s interest in the weapon systems made by Indian defense companies increased after Manila spent USD $ 368 million to acquire the Supersonic “Brahmos” anti-ship missile system.
After the success of “Brahmos”, India saw there was an opportunity to market other military weapon systems to the Philippines.
It was the first successful export of the anti-ship missile system developed by Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd which is a joint venture company between the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India and NPO Mashinostreyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
The Philippines wants to use the Brahmos missile system to prevent China from any attempt to seize and occupy islands or coral reefs that are within the waters of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea.
The “Brahmos” variant acquired by Manila is shore-based. BrahMos is currently the fastest anti-ship cruise missile in the world. The missile extremely high speed of Mach 3+ makes it difficult for enemy defence systems to detect and destroy the missile.