The Philippines could soon become the first export customer of the BrahMos cruise missile as New Delhi has signed an agreement with Manila for the export of Indian defence equipment to the country, a report in The Straits Times says.
The agreement, which comes following years of negotiations, was signed by Indian Ambassador Shambu Kumaran and Philippine Defence Undersecretary Raymund Elefante at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on 2 March.
“We are buying the BrahMos missiles,” Defence Secretary of Philippines Delfin Lorenzana said, adding that the agreement signed by the two sides deals with “policies and procedures in defence procurement”.
The agreement will serve as a “legal framework for the procurement under the government-to-government modality,” he noted.
The Philippine Army, which zeroed in on BrahMos after extensive trials and discussions with India, will use the missile to equip its first Land Based Missile System Battery, the Hindustan Times reported in November 2020.
Russia and India are planning to “begin exporting [BrahMos] to third countries, starting with the Philippines,” Roman Babushkin, Deputy Chief of Russian Embassy in India, said during a briefing in November last year.
A key ally of the United States, the Philippines has maritime disputes in the South China Sea with China, which has been a source of tensions between Manila and Beijing. The country has concluded several defence deals with India in recent years. India has extended a $100-million line of credit to the Philippines for defence purchases.
In February this year, India had cleared at least 156 defence equipment for exports, including the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
Many countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, have expressed interest in the BrahMos missile. In 2018, a BrahMos aerospace team had visited Indonesia’s state-run shipyard in Surabaya to assess the possibility of fitting the naval version of the BrahMos cruise missile on Indonesian warships.
Also Read: How The BrahMos Missile Has Evolved
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