New Delhi: A new agreement is to be inked soon by the Philippine Army for the land variant of the BRAHMOS system.
In the first export order for the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system, Philippines had approved in January 2022 a $374.96 million contract for the purchase of shore based anti-ship variant of the missile from India, while discussions are ongoing with few other South East Asian countries. 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.
For the record, the Philippines have shown 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.
The Philippines are worried about the rise of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy). The PLAN already controls 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 a new law allowing Chinese coast guard to open fire on foreign ships in waters claimed by China continue to fuel tensions in the region.
The land variant of the deadly cruise missile will provide the Philippines a credible deterrent value to protect itself from aggressive Chinese armed forces.