Indian company BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd. has started sending BrahMos coastal-based anti-ship missile systems to the Philippine Navy’s Marine Corps. On December 12, DA-REAL Military Channel, a YouTube channel for the Philippines military, said that the first parts of the system are now being approved. India and the Philippines have not said anything official about it.
Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran told the state-run Philippine News Agency in mid-August that the first BrahMos missile system will be sent to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2023.
The Brahmos Contract
End of 2021, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana released a “notice of award of contract” that said the Philippines accepted BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd’s offer to provide shore-based anti-ship missile systems as part of an intergovernmental agreement.
The price of the order was 374,96,000,000 USD (18.9 billion pesos). The Philippine Navy will buy three batteries of coastal defence systems based on the BrahMos cruise missile, which was made by India and Russia. Along with training for operators and maintenance staff, the delivery package also includes help with integrated logistics.
Protecting a disputed territory
The missile will be able to defeat the enemy inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. In South China, where there is a dispute, the PLA Navy and Coast Guard have been bothering Philippine ships.
Also, in 2016, an independent tribunal set up by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) sided with the Philippines against China in an arbitration case. But Beijing does not agree with how this case turned out.
The government of the Philippines has decided to buy the version of Brahmos that lets launchers be set up along the coast. Its range of 290 kilometres is enough to cover a part of the disputed maritime areas that Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan all claim.
The Philippine government paid $55.5 million (2.8 billion pesos) in advance for the system to be delivered in December 2021. On January 28, 2022, a deal was made with the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace to buy some complexes.
“Recently, I signed a document saying that I agreed to the terms of the contract for the Philippine Navy to buy coastal anti-ship missiles. As agreed with the Indian government, it includes the delivery of three systems, training for operators and operational staff, and the necessary integrated logistics support (ILS) package,” the minister wrote on Facebook.
In his post, he said that the idea was “conceived” in 2017 and that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the plan in 2020.
Activating Shore-based Defence
In April, the Philippine Marine Corps activated the Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile (SBASM) unit. This unit will be in charge of running anti-ship missile systems. Members of the SBASM staff were sent to India in June to train there.
In addition, the Marine Corps’ Shore-Based Air Defense System (SBADS) battalion has been made fully operational. AFP says that the SBADS will protect SBASM assets from threats from the air while operations to launch anti-ship missiles are going on.
The Marine Corps Coastal Defense Regiment just came together in August 2020. SBASM and SBADS are parts of this new group.
As part of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP), which runs from 2023 to 2027, the Philippine Army plans to buy two BrahMos batteries for coastal defence operations.
The first export customer for Brahmos Missile
The Philippines were the first country to buy the BrahMos missile system after it was made. As a result of the deal made with the Philippines, it is likely that missile defence systems will be able to be sold to other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. BrahMos Aerospace,
Hypersonic cruise missiles from the Brahmos line are made by a Russian-Indian company that was set up in 1998. Their development was done by both the Russian National Research Nuclear University of Mechanical Engineering and the Indian Defense Science Organization DRDO.
During a test in 2001, the missile was launched for the first time and went off without a hitch. The missile can go as fast as Mach 2.8 and is used by the Air Force, the Navy, and the Ground Forces, which are all parts of the Indian Armed Forces (3,430 kilometres per hour).
One of the unexpected parts of the deal between the Brahmos Company and the Philippines is that Russia has agreed to it. The Philippines is one of the oldest allies of the United States. Russia, on the other hand, is closer to Beijing. Even though Russia might not say why it takes this stance toward the Philippines, it probably does so to make sure that UNCLOS stays legal.