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Philippines to Acquire Indian BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

The Philippines is set to acquire the BrahMos shore-based anti-ship cruise missile system and other military equipment from India after receiving a long-awaited budget to bolster the country’s maritime defenses.

Two special allotment release orders (SARO) worth 1.3 billion pesos ($25.4 million) and 1.5 billion pesos ($29.3 million) were recently issued by the Department of Budget Management reportedly for the purchase of Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

According to a report by Philippine media outlet INQUIRER.net, the expected acquisition of the anti-ship missile system would be under a “government-to-government” contract.

Earlier this year, the two Asian nations signed an “implementing agreement” for the procurement of the BrahMos missile and other Indian defense armaments. However, negotiations were halted by budgetary limitations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the recent issuance of SARO, the Department of National Defense (DND) can now finalize the contract. A senior defense official also revealed that written confirmation of the grant for the contract is currently being processed.

Meanwhile, Indian newspaper The Print reported on Wednesday that while New Delhi is working on upgrading the range of the BrahMos missile, the standard variant to be exported to the Philippines has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles).

The BrahMos Supersonic Missile

Developed through a joint venture between India and Russia, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile features network-centric architecture, multiple trajectories, and way-point capability that allow the weapon to engage land and naval targets beyond the horizon.

It is equipped with a solid-propellant booster that provides the system with initial acceleration and a liquid-fueled ramjet system that enables a speed of Mach 3.

Additionally, the weapon system’s air-breathing ramjet propulsion technology provides the BrahMos with a longer range than missiles powered by rocket propulsion.

The ship and land-based BrahMos missiles carry a semi-armor-piercing warhead weighing 200 kilograms (440 pounds), while the aerial variant can carry a 300-kilogram (661-pound) warhead. They can intercept surface targets at a minimum altitude of 10 meters (32 feet).

The weapon can launch from ships, mobile launchers, submarines, and even military aircraft. It can also be used for coastal defense and ground attack.

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