By Rohit Srivastava
Philippines is all set to become the first foreign operator of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. On the last day of the last year, Brahmos Aerospace received ‘Notice of Award’ from the Department of National Defence, Philippines. The order worth over USD 374 million is for the unspecified number of missiles and systems and support.
According to the Philippines’ media, on December 27, Philippines government released two Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO) for the 290 km range shore-based anti-ship missile system for the Philippine Navy.
Last March, India and Philippines signed an ‘Implementing Arrangement’ to provide the framework for the facilitation of the defence business between the two nations.
BrahMos missile system is co-developed by the India and Russia through a joint venture Brahmos Aerospace. Considered as one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world, BrahMos comes in ship-to-ship, shore-to-ship, land-to-land and air-launched versions.
India is in the advanced stages to deploy the air-launched version on the Su-30 mki.
India is also developing a lighter BrahMos NG which could be launched from LCA Tejas besides other heavier fighter of Russian make.
India is also developing longer-range and hypersonic versions of the BrahMos missile.
The aggressive policy of China which is threatening to change the existing order in the South China Sea is the primary reason why the countries of East Asia showing interest in weapon system which can curb the Chinese aggressiveness.
The anti-ship BrahMos is one such system which can destroy any warship with pinpoint accuracy and cannot be intercepted by any ship defence system. It is a perfect fire and forget anti-ship missile system for defensive deployment for any nation with smaller economy.