After signing a $375 million deal with India for procurement of BrahMos missile for its Navy, Philippines is reportedly planning to buy the supersonic cruise missile for the Philippine Army (PA).
The acquisition will be done under the third horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP).
"PA’s acquisition of BrahMos is programmed under the 3rd Horizon (Year 2023-2027) of the RAFPMP. Hence, the PA is yet to acquire said units since we are still on the 2nd Horizon (2018-2022) wherein some of the programmed acquisitions are still (in) process," Phillipine Army spokesperson Colonel Xerxes Trinidad was quoted as saying by Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a report.
He added that the Army is set to get two BrahMos batteries which will be used for coastal defense missions.
"The acquisition of two batteries will serve as the general support artillery unit in coastal defense that will (complement) the joint force in territorial defense," Trinidad was quoted as saying.
He also said the BrahMos answers the Philippine Army's requirement of Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missile (GBASM) and the mission of the field artillery to destroy, neutralise and suppress the enemy through cannon, rocket fires.
Earlier on 28 January, Philippines signed a deal worth $375 million with India's BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited for the supply of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to equip its shore-based anti-ship missile system.
With the signing of the contract earlier today (28 January), the Philippines has become the first international customer of the cruise missile.
The acquisition of the missile will significantly boost the Philippine's capabilities to deal with the threat from China's People's Liberation Army Navy. China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea, including the parts claimed by the Philippines, based on the "nine-dash line".
The dispute in the South China Sea, to which Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are also a party, is driven by overlapping claims to land features in the South China Sea and the maritime entitlements around them. Over the years, China has built artificial islands in the region, militarised them to solidify its claims, and bullied other claimants, including the Philippines.
In 2016, the International Tribunal in The Hague dismissed China's claims in the South China Sea as part of a ruling in a case brought by the Philippines in 2013. China had refused to participate in the proceedings at the tribunal in the Hague and rejected its ruling in the case.
In recent years, tensions between China and the Philippines over the long-simmering territorial dispute have increased. In November 2021, Chinese coastguard ships blocked and fired water cannons on Philippines supply boats within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Earlier, the Philippines had reported an incursion into its EEZ by around 285 maritime militia vessels from China.
In the event of a conflict, the Philippines could use its shore-based anti-ship missile system to target Chinese vessels in parts of the South China Sea.
The BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile developed by BrahMos Aerospace which is a Indo-Russian joint venture between India's DRDO and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia.
The BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.
The missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound. The variant to be exported is likely to have a range of around 290 kilometres.
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