Initial delivery of the BrahMos missile system to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected in 2023, the Indian Embassy in Manila confirmed on the sidelines of India’s 75th Independence Day celebration in mid-August.
“We are expecting the deliveries to happen sometime next year, we don’t have a specific date but we’re working towards next year,” India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran was quoted as saying by the state-run Philippine News Agency.
The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) signed a contract worth $375 million for the acquisition of the Indo-Russian BrahMos medium-range supersonic cruise missiles on 28 January.
The deal calls for three missile batteries, each of which comprises mobile launchers – equipped with three missiles each – and associated datalinks and tracking systems.
Depending on the variant, the BrahMos cruise missile can be launched from a ship, aircraft, submarine, or land-based launcher and has a top speed of around Mach 2.8. It can carry warheads weighing up to 660 pounds (300 kilogrammes).
The Philippine Marine Corps’ Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile (SBASM) battalion, activated in April, will be operating the anti-ship missile systems. SBASM personnel were already dispatched to India for training in June.
The Marine Corps have also activated a new unit known as the Shore-Based Air Defense System (SBADS) battalion. According to the AFP news agency, the SBADS will protect SBASM assets from aerial threats during anti-ship missile launch operations.
Both the SBASM and the SBADS are sub-formations of the Marine Corps’ Coastal Defense Regiment, which was also recently stood up in August 2020.
The Philippine Army is also lining up to acquire two BrahMos batteries for coastal defence missions under the third horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernisation Program (RAFPMP), which runs from 2023-2027.
by Jr Ng