In first BrahMos missile export order, Philippines approves $374-million contract; all you need to know

The Philippines has given a $374 million contract to BrahMos Aerospace to supply shore-based anti-ship missiles for the country’s navy, military sources said.

BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the supersonic cruise missile ‘BrahMos’ that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.

The company had proposed to the Philippines government for the supply of shore-based anti-ship missiles for the country’s navy, sources mentioned.

Its proposal worth $374 million was accepted last month by the government, they added.

Philippines accepts BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd’s proposal worth USD 374.9 million to supply Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project for Philippine Navy

— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2022

The development comes on the backdrop of the government’s push for Make in India in defense and its stress on Aatmanirbhar Bharat. India is likely to bag more orders for the missile system from friendly countries as it is negotiating at an advanced stage with some other nations too.

India has already deployed a sizable number of the Brahmos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations along the Line of Actual Control with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

Writing for India Defence Review, Squadron Leader Vijainder K Thakur laid out the two big advantages BrahMos gives India. Firstly, it can be deployed and used anywhere along the land border within two to three hours of a threat arising. It could also protect India’s island territories and Sea Lines of Communication. Secondly, longer-range Brahmos missiles when deployed from Sukhois {with their extensive range} could counter Chinese medium-range missiles positioned in Tibet to target India. IAF could then disrupt operations by the Chinese army from airbases in Tibet which would cause China to think twice before making military manoeuvres.

What are the missiles?

The BrahMos is a short-range, ramjet-powered, single warhead, supersonic anti-ship/land-attack cruise missile developed and manufactured by India and Russia. The ability of the system to be integrated with land, air, and sea platforms gives the system the much-needed versatility in modern-day warfare.

BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.

BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound.

The BrahMos is a unique missile as it can be deployed on land, sea and underwater against different types of targets on land and sea, according to Strategic Affairs.

As stated in an India Strategic article, a significant increase in the speed of a cruise missile will always add to its lethal ability. This is because generally, cruise missiles do not have defensive capabilities and their chances of success are heavily linked to the stealth and speed in navigation. A fast missile like BrahMos gives the enemy little time to respond thus leading to higher chances of success.

Apart from increasing the chances of success, the missile’s top speed allows it to hit targets with a lot of kinetic energy, according to Russia Beyond. During tests, it often cut warships in half and reduced ground targets to smithereens. Being launched from a Sukhoi travelling at speeds close Mach 2 adds further momentum to the missile and the aircraft’s ability to penetrate hardened air defences boosts the chances of delivering the payload.

India earlier this week successfully test-fired a naval variant of the advanced supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a stealth guided-missile destroyer of the Indian Navy.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation {DRDO} said the missile hit the designated target “precisely”.

With inputs from agencies

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