India, Philippines set to sign first export contract for BrahMos missiles
18 January 2022
India is expected to sign a $374.9 million deal with the Philippines under which the country will, for the first time, export “multiple” BrahMos supersonic cruise missile systems.
Reports citing sources said the acquisition of the shore-based missile system, with a range of 290 km, is part of Manila’s plan to beef up its defence amid territorial conflict with China.
The contract is for shore-based variant of anti-ship cruise missile and involves an unspecified number of missiles and launchers, spare parts, payment schedule and delivery and training of personnel, according to reports.
This is for the first time that the BrahMos missiles, manufactured by the India-Russia joint venture is being sold to a third country.
Philippines has accepted the Indian proposal and is now seeking to sign the contract. Philippines’ Department of National Defence on Thursday also published a ‘Notice of Award’ dated 31 December, asking BrahMos, an Indo-Russian joint venture, to sign the contract.
Reports said an Indian delegation is slated to visit Manila next week to sign the contract.
In November, Chinese coast guard ships blocked and used water cannons on two Philippines supply boats heading to a disputed shoal occupied by Filipino marines in the South China Sea.
This led to a warning from the Philippines government that its vessels are covered under a mutual defence treaty with the United States.
In December, Philippines’ budget department issued two special allotment release orders (SARO) — worth Peso 1.3 billion (Rs190 crore) and Peso 1.535 billion (Rs224 crore).
The SARO allows the country’s Department of National Defence to finalise contracts for military hardware.
Negotiations for BrahMos between India and the Philippines has been going on for the last few years, but hit a roadblock in December 2020, with Manila citing budgetary limitations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March 2021, India signed a key enabling pact with the Philippines that had paved the way for government-to-government deals on defence equipment, including BrahMos.