The first delivery of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines will happen in December, equipping its navy to secure its maritime interests against expansionist design of China.
BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India and Russia, had signed a contract worth $375 million last year to supply three batteries of supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines. It has a 400 km range, Mach 2.8 speed and a warhead that can pierce and damage toughest of ship hulls.
Praveen Pathak, Director, BrahMos Aerospace, revealed that the first export of missile systems will take place by this December at the ongoing Philippines defence exhibition 2023. “Hopefully, no extreme weather conditions will be there. We are moving ahead to achieve our goals,” he told a Philippines journalist. Other than missiles, the deal includes offer of integrated logistics support package and training for operators and maintainers. The supersonic cruise missile will offer detterance value to Philippines given China’s aggressive maritime postering.
Towards the end of last month, the Chinese navy had reportedly engaged two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in “dangerous maneauvers” that had amounted to “confrontation” in the South China Sea.
At the Philippines Fleet defence expo, the Brahmos Aerospace has exhibited that the supersonic missile systems can be mounted on boats, for submarines, destroyers and frigates besides the land and other version.
The missile, that is in use by all the three services of India, has underwent multiple upgrades through better software and hardware changes, that has lifted its range. BrahMos Aerospace is also in the process of developing other versions of its missile besides developing a hypersonic missile that would have a speed of Mach 8 and a possible range of 600 km.