Philippines finalises $375 million missile deal with Indiatext_fields
New Delhi: India and the Philippines are set to begin the initial stage of a $374.962 million defence deal that will see the island nation as one of the first to purchase the BrahMOS missile system from India, a Hindustan Times report said.
The development will be a major shot in the arm for India's efforts to become an exporter of defence hardware, and could pave the way for more Southeast Asian nations to acquire the missile jointly developed by India and Russia. Philippines accepted BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd's proposal to supply Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project for its navy on January 14.
The deal will be inked at an upcoming ceremony held in Quezon City, in the Philippines, which will be attended by Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana. The function will be authorised by the Philippines Department of National Defense.
Brahmos is a supersonic missile for the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. This universal missile can be launched from ships, mobile launchers, submarines and aircraft. It has network-centric architecture, multiple trajectories, way-point capability and is capable of engaging any kind of land or naval targets beyond the horizon in a minimum deployment time.
Three missile batteries of the shore-based anti-ship systems of the BrahMos will be given to the Philippines Navy, containing deadly conventional (non-nuclear) weapon that flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8, apart from training for operators and the necessary integrated logistics support package.
The deal is also likely to not go down well with China as its aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, where the Philippines Navy is currently deployed, has not been good for their relations. India's efforts under the "Act East" policy have been aimed boosting its position amongst ASEAN countries as well as putting on a strong face against China. With the BrahMOS deal, it hopes to create a solid domestic base for defence exports.
Other countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Indonesia, have also expressed their interest in buying BrahMos from India, to which end discussions are ongoing.