Updated April 19th, 2024 at 15:56 IST

With Eye on China, India Delivers First Batch of BrahMos to Philippines

The development comes at a time when tensions between China and the Philippines have escalated owing to frequent clashes between them in the South China Sea. 

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
India delivers BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to Philippines | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: India on Friday, April 19, delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, over two years after inking a $ 375 million deal to supply the weapon systems with the Southeast Asian country. The development comes at a time when tensions between China and the Philippines have escalated owing to frequent clashes in the South China Sea. 

A military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force transported the missile and the launchers to the Philippines. This happens to be the first export of the BrahMos missile by India. In January 2022, New Delhi had sealed the deal with the Philippines for supplying three batteries of the missile.

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 As the BrahMos landed in Philippines, Indian officers were seen sharing sweets with the Philippines Marine Corps officers. The three batteries of the BrahMos missile system delivered by India would be deployed by the Philippines in their coastal areas to guard against any threat in the region.

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What is BrahMos? 

BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the 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 supersonic cruise missile is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroyeniya. It is said to be one of the most successful missile programs in the world. The Indian Army has integrated multiple BrahMos regiments into its arsenal since 2007. BrahMos is known for as the swiftest precision-guided weapon. 

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India Rises as a Defence Exporter 

The delivery of BrahMos cruise missiles to the Philippines comes as a major boost to New Delhi in multiple ways as it elevates India as a defence exporter. A few other countries including Argentina have also shown interest in procuring BrahMos missiles from India.

Addressing an election rally in Madhya Pradesh's Damoh, Indian Prime Minister also congratulated the country for the achievement. "The BJP government is making our defence forces self-reliant; India is exporting weapons to many countries. India is exporting BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines," the PM said. “The first batch of this missile is going to the Philippines today. I congratulate all the countrymen on this,” he added. 

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India Aims To Counter China 

Further, India has been looking at expanding defence ties with countries in the Indo-Pacific including the Philippines against the backdrop of growing global concerns over China's increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.

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In the recent past, there have been growing global concerns over China's sweeping claims of sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. Several countries in the region, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei, have flagged concerns over China's behaviour especially in the South China sea. 

India's External Affairs Ministry, last month, affirmed support for the Philippines in defending its sovereignty. 

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Published April 19th, 2024 at 15:55 IST