BrahMos ‘deterrence’ missiles arrive from India

PH 3rd in region to acquire supersonic weapon

BrahMos ‘deterrence’ missiles arrive from India

By: - Reporter /
/ 05:32 AM April 21, 2024

MAJOR UPGRADE The BrahMos cruise missile system asshown in a Jan. 15, 2022, photo from the Facebook page of then Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

MAJOR UPGRADE The BrahMos cruise missile system as shown in a Jan. 15, 2022 photo from the Facebook page of then Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of BrahMos cruise missiles from India arrived in the Philippines on Friday, making the country the third Southeast Asian nation to acquire the world’s fastest supersonic antiship missile system.

The BrahMos, delivered by an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft, arrived at Clark International Airport in Pampanga, according to several Indian media outlets.

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The Indian English-language newspaper The Economic Times called it “a key military export milestone” for India.

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The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have yet to issue a statement on the BrahMos, which arrived amid heightened tension between the Philippines and China over their maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

P18.9B deal

In January 2022, the Philippines signed an P18.9-billion deal with BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd.—an Indian-Russian joint venture—for three batteries of the cruise missiles as part of the Navy’s shore-based antiship missile system project.

It is unclear how many BrahMos missiles were delivered to the Philippines on Friday.

With a range of 290 kilometers to 400 km, BrahMos are medium-range supersonic missiles that travel at Mach 2.8, or about three times faster than the speed of sound. They could be launched from submarines, ships, planes or land platforms.

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A BrahMos missile battery has at least three mobile firing units with attached command and control technology, a radar, and support vehicles and units.

‘World’s fastest’

According to the company’s website, BrahMos has “shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker engagement.”

A BrahMos missile can carry a 300-kilogram semiarmor piercing warhead, which can penetrate and damage even the toughest ship hulls.

The BrahMos project includes operation and maintenance training, and integrated logistics support package.

“As the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missiles, the Brahmos missiles will provide deterrence against any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the West Philippine Sea,” then Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the contract signing.

The Coastal Defense Regiment of the Philippine Marine Corps will be the primary user of the BrahMos system.

Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of the Singapore Nanyang Technological University, earlier said the Philippines would be the third Southeast Asian nation to acquire a supersonic antiship missile system after Indonesia and Vietnam.

READ: PH eyes ‘triangular’ pact with India, Japan

Defensive projection

Security analyst Chester Cabalza, president and founder of the Manila-based think tank International Development and Security Cooperation, said the arrival of BrahMos missiles “is relevant as the Philippines projects its defense posture in the West Philippine Sea” and as the country stages its 39th “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises to be observed by 14 countries starting April 22.

“This also mirrors the upgraded defense spending and public investment of the Philippines on its military modernization,” he told the Inquirer.

Cabalza added that the missile system would “set a standard” for the country’s deterrence capability.

In March, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. acknowledged India’s contribution to the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during a meeting with India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

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Teodoro thanked India’s support for Manila’s claims in the South China Sea as Jaishankar reaffirmed his country’s commitment to upholding a rules-based international order and promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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TAGS: BrahMos, cruise missiles, DND, India

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