India confirmed today it is going to export the BrahMos missile system to the Philippines. Once the contract is inked before the month ends, India will be joining the elite group of countries that export missiles to other countries.
On 14 January, the Philippines accepted a proposal of Indian BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd for a shore-based anti-ship missile system for its navy. The proposal is worth $ 375 million.
Secretary of National Defence of the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, announced the signing of the ‘notice of award’ for the purchase, and the contract is expected to be signed very soon. “The ‘Notice of Award’ includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers. As well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.”
According to his post, this was conceptualised as early as 2017. And, in 2020, the Office of the President approved its inclusion in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects.
BrahMos to be part of coastal defence regiment
BrahMos missiles from India will be part of the coastal defence regiment of the Philippine Marines. The contract was delayed due to the budgetary constraints of that country as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of National Defence of the Philippines, their equivalent of the Ministry of Defence, has confirmed the notification and a copy of the notice of award signed by Mr Lorenzana.
The letter informs about the proposal of BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd, for the shore-based anti-ship missile system acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, “with a corresponding price proposal in the amount of $ 374,962,800 is hereby accepted.” Through the letter, it has directed the company to “You are hereby directed to provide, within 10 calendar days from receipt of this notice, the performance security in the form and amount stipulated in the terms of reference.”
As reported earlier, the Philippines has become the first country in the ASEAN region to acquire the Indian missile, negotiations for which were going on for almost five years, before the government of that country took a decision.
There are other countries from the region that are in discussion with the Ministry of Defence for buying BrahMos Missile from India.
After ASEAN, it’s UAE
Discussions with the UAE for the sale of the BrahMos is in advanced stages. As reported earlier, the Gulf nation was among the first from that region expressing interest in buying BrahMos missiles and had also expressed interest in the indigenous Akaash missile.
Another country from the region which has shown interest is Saudi Arabia and the discussions were put on hold due to the Covid situation.
During the visit of the Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane to both countries, the export of BrahMos and other military platforms was part of the discussions.
Among the ASEAN member countries, discussions are going on with Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
South American nations like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina too have been identified as some countries in the region which have been in talks with the Indian Ministry of Defence for the BrahMos.
And South Korea, South Africa and Egypt are interested too.
A joint venture between India and Russia, this missile has the capability of being launched from sea, land, sub-sea and air and it can destroy sea-based as well as surface targets. The Indian Armed forces have already inducted these missiles.
The original range of the missile was capped at 290 km and this was based on the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) conditions. Then, as India had entered the exclusive club in June 2016, the officials had indicated that the range could be extended up to 450 km and to 600 km at some later stage.
Earlier this week, the made in India missile was tested successfully with an extended range from indigenous guided stealth missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam.