Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Philippines negotiating with India on Brahmos land based supersonic cruise missiles

A Brahmos mobile firing unit of the Indian armed forces. Photo c/o Brahmos Aerospace.

The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Army (PA) were reported to be in advanced negotiations with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Indian firm Brahmos Aerospace Ltd for the acquisition of the land-based version of the Brahmos supersonic anti-ship missile system.

If successful, the Philippines would become the first export market for the Indian-Russian collaboration, and would be India’s largest arms deal with the Philippines. It would also add a powerful weapon system for the Philippine military to defend against external threats.

The Indian MOD would be assisting in the project, being a Govnerment-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Philippines. It is expected that negotiations will be completed and a contract signed by 2020.

Replying on Asia Pacific Defense Journal’s queries, Filipino defense page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that the Philippine Army is interested in acquiring two (2) batteries of Brahmos coastal defense batteries with a budget of Php10 billion (US$197 million), although this could still adjust depending on availability of more funds. 

It also added that the Brahmos missile system will be used by the Philippine Army as part of its planned for Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) network, and for defending against naval threats.

When asked if land-attack capabilities are included, MaxDefense Philippines mentioned that it is a possibility although it could be added later on after the system is delivered.

The Brahmos surface-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 kilometers, although this is based on export version which is neutered by limitations as required by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which India and Russia are members, but the Philippines is not.

[1] Hindustan Times
[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] Jane’s Defence Weekly

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