MANILA, Philippines – In a post made on his Official Facebook Page, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the finalization of the Philippines’ acquisition of the BrahMos Anti-ship Missile System.
The multi-million deal is under Horizon II of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program., and has been conceptualized as early as 2017.
The Office of the President approved its inclusion in the Horizon II Priority Projects in 2020. However, the unforeseen outbreak of the coronavirus halted the progress of finalizing the deal, as government fund allocation was shifted to address the pandemic.
Revealing that negotiations on the missile system have pushed on, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that he has signed the Notice of Award for the acquisition project with Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd worth $374,962,800 (around PHP19 billion) last December 31, 2021.
This includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.
The BrahMos (short for the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers) anti-ship missile system, is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile. It was developed by BrahMos Aerospace which is a joint venture between India and Russia.
The medium-range missiles can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land-based platforms; has a top speed of around Mach 2.8 (around 3,400 km. per hour), and is capable of carrying warheads weighing 200 to 300 kilograms.
According to an article from thediplomat.com, it is “equipped with stealth technology and an advanced guidance system. The BrahMos flies at nearly three times the speed of sound, making it nearly impossible for targets to evade.”
Protecting its Exclusive Economic Zone
Philippine Navy (PN) Spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency that the BrahMos acquisition “will increase the capability of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), particularly the PN to defend the country’s extensive maritime borders.”
In addition, Negranza said the presence of the BrahMos missile system will go hand-in-hand with the PN’s endeavors in patrolling the Philippine waters with its surface ships.
Lorenzana said the Philippine Marine Corp’s Coastal Defense Regiment will be the primary user of the BrahMos missile system.
In an interview last November 2020 regarding the BrahMos system, Lorenzana stated that the cruise missiles would only be for defensive measures and not as offensive weapons.
Sources: Philippine News Agency, thediplomat.com, Inquirer