India to deliver BrahMos missile to Philippines in early 2023

According to recent reports by ANI, the first deliveries of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines will begin in 2023, co-director of the joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace Alexander Maksichev said in a statement.

The USD 375-million deal for the supply of BrahMos missiles to the Philippines was reached in January and is the first export contract for BrahMos Aerospace, as per Russian news agency Sputnik.

“The first deliveries of the missiles will begin in 2023. These will be missiles for coastal defense, a coastal missile system,” Maksichev said.

As per the agency, BrahMos Aerospace was established in 1998, it specializes in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems.

About the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile System

The BrahMos is a medium-range stealth ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft or land, and is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It is a joint-venture between the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya, who together have formed the BrahMos Aerospace. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

brahmos missile
Brahmos missile fired from Kolkata class destroyer

BrahMos is the world’s fastest Anti-Ship Cruise Missile currently in operation. The Land-launched and Ship-launched versions of the missile are already in service. An Air-launched variant of BrahMos appeared in 2012 and entered service in 2019. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7–8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2024.

Its propulsion is based on the Russian missile, and missile guidance has been developed by BrahMos Aerospace.

Phillipines purchase of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile System

In October 2019, the Philippine Army was reported to be in discussion with India for a possible BrahMos missile sale. Under the Land Based Missile System Acquisition Project, at least 2 batteries is set to be acquired. On 21 January 2022, the Philippine Army announced plans to purchase two of BrahMos medium-range missile defense systems costing around US$375 million within the third horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP) These systems are planned to be operated by the 1st Land Based Missile System Battery of the Army Artillery Regiment, which was activated in October 2019.

In March 2021, the Department of National Defense (DND) of Phillipines signed an arms agreement with India to potentially acquire Indian weapons, including the BrahMos missile.

On 27 December 2021, two special allotment release orders (SARO) — worth Php 1.3 billion (₹190 crore) and Php 1.535 billion (₹224 crore) — were issued by the Department of Budget Management (DBM) for the Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy. The SARO allows the DND to finalise contracts for military projects.

On 31 December 2021, Brahmos Aerospace Pvt Ltd’s representatives received the Notice of Award (NOA) for the project worth US$374,962,800. A contract signed on 28 January 2022. It includes at least 3 batteries as part of the agreement. A battery will have at least 3 mobile firing units, plus attached command and control, radar, and support vehicles and units. Each mobile firing unit has 3 ready-to-fire BrahMos anti-ship supersonic missiles, with the export variant having a maximum range of around 290 kilometers.

The batteries will be operated by the Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile (SBASM) Battalion of the Philippine Marine Corps’ Coastal Defense Regiment.

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