After Philippines now Indonesia and Vietnam rush to buy Indian Brahmos missile

Talks with Indonesia are in the advanced stage for the export of the Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.  It will make Indonesia the second ASEAN country after the Philippines to import missiles from India. 

Between three and four countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have the potential to become customers of the BrahMos missile.

Earlier this year, India and the Philippines inked a $374.96 million contract for the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, making the Philippines the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member country to import missiles from India.

Now, a report by the Financial Express indicates that “Talks with Indonesia are in advanced stage for the export of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. The deal could have been signed earlier, however, due to internal matters of that country, by year end, or early next year, the deal is expected to be sealed”.

After successfully deal with the Philippines to buy the “BrahMos” supersonic missile system, India is targeting several Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia to follow Manila’s steps in acquiring the system involved.

Chief Executive Officer of BrahMos Aerospace Atul Rane in an interview with the Russian news agency TASS said that between three to four countries in Southeast Asia have great potential to become customers of BrahMos missiles.

“I expect that between three and four countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have the potential to become customers of the BrahMos missile,” said heads of the India-Russia joint venture company.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Oman has also shown interest in missiles developed jointly by India and Russia.

If Jakarta chooses BrahMos, it will be the second Southeast Asian country to choose the missile after the Philippines signed a US$375 million deal with India to acquire the system. Manila chose the BrahMos missile system that can be launched from a mobile vehicle as a shore-based anti-ship system.

According to the BrahMos company, Jakarta started showing interest in getting the BrahMos missile system in 2018, and the company has even sent its officials to explore the possibility of the system being installed on Indonesian warships.

The acquisition of the system by the Southeast Asian country was also a topic of discussion when the Indonesian Defense Minister visited India last year.

Indonesia is interested in installing the missile on its warships.

As one of the fastest supersonic cruise missiles in the world, its speed can reach Mach 3+, which is three times the speed of sound, which makes it difficult for many air defense systems to react and intercept it. Since this missile is 8.4 meters in length, it can launch conventional warheads weighing 300 kilograms and has a maximum range of 800 kilometers; however, this version of the missile is used by India and for export BrahMos missiles maximum range is only 290 kilometers.

The reason for this is that on the one hand, the missile technology control system restricts the export of weapons of mass destruction, and the range of missiles cannot exceed 300 kilometers; on the other hand, India does not want to teach all its cutting-edge technologies; The total weight of the exported naval version of the BrahMos missile reaches 2.9 tons, which will bring huge damage once it hits the target even without warheads.

This would bring great pressure to China because there is also news that Vietnam also has a strong interest in this missile. The most important thing is that these countries all have some disputes with China in the territorial waters. The “South China Sea Arbitration Case” of the Philippines is well known, and the two sides also have great contradictions. At the same time, the exclusive economic zone and China’s nine-dash line in the South China Sea claim. The overlap led to the appearance of a Chinese Coast Guard ship at the Philippine army outpost at Ayunjin Shoal a few days ago. A few months ago China conducted a military exercise in the waters between Hainan Province and Vietnam, Which is clearly a  violation of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

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