The Philippines has approved a contract for the purchase of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile System. The contract worth $374 million is the first-ever export order for the anti-ship variant of the missile system from India. ‘Notice of Award’ for the purchase has been signed by Deflin Lorenzana who is the Secretary of National Defence of the Philippines and the contract will be signed very soon too. The discussions with some other south Asian nations is ongoing.
Mr Lorenzana, in a social media post, informed of the signing of the notice of award for the Philippine Navy. The contract includes the delivery of 3 batteries, the training of the operators and maintainers, and the ILS (Integrated Logistics Support). This deal was conceptualised in early 2017, it was included in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020 by the Office of President of the Philippines.
The primary employer of this anti-ship variant missile will be the coastal defence regiment of the Philippine Marine. The contract was initially delayed due to the Covid situation, the pandemic that followed and some budgetary constraints. The Department of National Defence of the Philippines which is the equivalent of the Ministry of Defence had also confirmed the notification and a copy of the notice of award was posted on their official website. The letter that was posted stated that the proposal of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited to acquire the anti-ship missile system for the Philippine Navy with a price proposal of $374,962,800 had been accepted.
The BrahMos missiles have been getting offers from many other countries and the negotiations with Indonesia and Thailand have reached an advanced stage. According to a defence official, the discussions with Indonesia are in the advanced stage. This was also on the priority of the agenda of the Indonesian Defence Minister Pravowo Subianto’s visit back in July 2020.
BrahMos Missile System is a joint collaboration between India and Russia. It is capable of being launched from land, sea, and air against all surface as well as sea-based targets. The range that was originally capped as per the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) was 290 km. It was further extended to 450 km and 600 km at the later stage. The missile with an extended range was tested on January 11 from the stealth missile destroyer INS Vishakhapatnam.
The development of ‘BrahMos’ is a feather in the cap of India’s scientific achievements. The Make in India vision of the Government of India is also being fulfilled by this. This puts the nation on the world map of science and technology.