Philippines likely to also go for land version of BrahMos missile
The Philippines are definitely wary about the activities of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) in the Indo Pacific in general and the seas around Philippines in particular. The PLAN has already taken control of many islets such as the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.
The recent discovery of a Chinese submarine drone on the nearby Selayar Island and the Chinese Govt allowing Chinese coast guard to open fire on foreign ships in waters claimed by China have further fueled tensions in the region.
In the above scenario the land variant of the deadly BRAHMOS cruise missile will provide the Philippines a credible deterrent to protect itself from a aggressive Chinese armed forces.
In view of the above,a new agreement with the Philippine Army for the land variant of the BrahMos system is expected to be signed soon.
In the first export order for the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system, Philippines had placed in January 2022 a INR 3185 crores worth contract for the purchase of shore based anti-ship variant of the missile from India.
Secretary of National Defence of Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana has signed the ‘Notice of award’ for the purchase, the contract for which is expected to be signed very soon.
The Philippines had started showing interest in the purchase of the BrahMos since 2016. It was reported that negotiations were underway since 2019 regarding the procurement of two mobile batteries for the Philippine army under the Land-Based Missile System (LBMS) program.
A mock-up of the Philippine army version of the launcher was shown. The missiles were fitted on a semi-trailer towed by a South Korean KIA KM500 truck. In addition, in the spring of 2020, there were reports of the Philippine Navy’s intention to purchase three batteries of the BrahMos system.
BrahMos Aerospace is now set to begin delivering supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines by the end of 2023 as part of a deal signed last year. The missiles supplied under this deal will equip the Philippines’ shore-based anti-ship missile batteries. The Philippines is also reportedly considering a follow-on order of around INR 255 Crores.
BrahMos is likely to expand its presence in Southeast Asia as India seeks to triple defense exports. The company is in advanced discussions for the supply of the missiles to Indonesia in a deal likely to be worth INR 1700 Crores to 3000 Crores. BrahMos has offered to supply shore-based missiles and a version that can be mounted on warships, and that the Indonesian defense forces are extremely interested.
While details about the size and timeline of the deal have not been reported, deal could be in place within the year.
Meanwhile, in India, the Defence Acquisition Council, led by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh, has approved a proposal to purchase 200 extended-range BrahMos missiles for the Indian Navy’s frontline warships. This deal could potentially become the biggest ever for BrahMos Aerospace.