Months after a series of negotiations, Philippines has formally confirmed that it will purchase BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles from India.
The official “Notice of Award”, issued by the Philippine Department of National Defence, dated 31 December 2021, mentions that Manila has selected the proposal offered by BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited for the acquisition of a shore-based anti-ship missile system worth $374 million. A total of 3 batteries shall be acquired.
The official signing of the deal in the capital city is expected in a week or two between the officials, in this ‘government-to-government’ purchase. The package includes training, logistics, and support, and the system will be operated by the Coastal Defense Regiment of Filipino Marines.
A joint venture between India and Russia, the BrahMos missile is a supersonic cruise missile that offers targeting capability against hostile ships within a 290-kilometer radius, and with exceptional precision having a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of only 1 meter.
The Philippines is facing a consistent threat from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), especially due to recently occurred confrontations in coastal waters.
In November, Chinese coast guard ships blocked and used water cannons on two Philippine supply boats heading to a disputed shoal occupied by Filipino marines in the South China Sea. Additionally, recent years have witnessed a “swarm” of PRC-registered fishing boats in the Filipino waters, in an attempt to lay Beijing’s claims over the nine-dash line.
In order to repel the rising threats from mainland China, the Philippines was seeking BrahMos AShM since 2019 with actual negotiations starting in late 2020.
It is expected that the batteries will be placed on strategic sites to keep an eye on Chinese activities in the sea and protect friendly assets.