First Batch of BRAHMOS Missiles Set to Reach Philippines

Missiles

New Delhi. Marking the culmination of India’s first major defence export deal, the Philippines is slated to receive the first batch of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missiles on April 19, 2024.

According to sources, the operation to transfer the heavy equipment is being led by the Indian Air Force, with significant support coming from civil aircraft agencies. “The long-haul flight carrying the heavy loads will be a non-stop six-hour journey before the equipment reaches the western parts of the Philippines,” another source added.

In January 2022, India had announced a deal with the Philippines for the supply of the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile, making it the country’s first major defence export order. According to reports, the Philippines Department of National Defence issued the ‘Notice of Award’ to India’s BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, approving a USD 374.96 million (Rs 2,700 crore) contract for the purchase of a shore-based anti-ship missile system from India.

The Philippines, as per the initial deal, will get three missile batteries for the missile system, which has a range of 290 kilometres and a speed of 2.8 Mach (thrice the speed of sound). The deal also encompassed training for operators and the necessary integrated logistics support package.

The operator training for the missile system was successfully conducted in February 2023, for 21 personnel of the Philippine Navy. The training focused on the operations and maintenance of some of the most important logistics packages of the SBASMS that will be delivered to the Philippines.

The trainees were awarded their interim missile badges and pins by the Indian Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, in a valedictory ceremony for the operator training of the Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System (SBASMS), according to the Philippines Marine Corps,

India has been in talks with Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and a few other nations that have shown interest in the system.

The BRAHMOS missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. According to sources, the missile—a collaboration between India and Russia—is currently undergoing a process where 83 percent of its components are being indigenised.

India successfully test-fired the extended-range sea-to-sea variant of the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile on January 11, 2022. The missile was test-fired from the Indian Navy’s newly commissioned INS Visakhapatnam on the Western seaboard.

The extended-range version of BRAHMOS was developed after India’s full membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which removed caps on the range of the cruise missile. The plan has been to initially extend the range of attack to 450 km.