In a bid to reinforce its weak defences in the South China Sea, the Philippines has issued a notice of award to India to acquire the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in an approximate US$375 million deal.
The procurement aims to provide the Philippines with three missile batteries and bolster India’s push to become a major arms exporter, including to nations locked in disputes with China.
The system would be operated by the Philippine Marines’ Coastal Defence Regiment, which was activated just last year, and can be launched from air, sea, land, and underwater platforms.
The regiment was established to improve the Philippines’ capability to assert sea control through shore-based anti-access/area denial (A2/AD). It is expected to be fully functional by 2026, implying that the BrahMos missiles are expected to be delivered by that date.
The BrahMos is a fire-and-forget missile with a 290-kilometer range, Mach-3 speed throughout its flight and a cruising altitude of 15 kilometers to a terminal altitude as low as 10 meters.
The missile has Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and a Global Positioning System (GPS) for guidance, and active radar homing for its terminal phase. can be launched from air, sea, land, and underwater platforms
It is armed with a 200 or 300-kilogram conventional warhead, and has an identical configuration for land, sea and subsurface platforms. It combines high speed and evasive manoeuvres to evade enemy missile defence systems, and a large warhead to ensure high lethality.
The Philippines plans to acquire the land-based version of BrahMos, a battery of which consists of four to six mobile autonomous launchers (MAL), a mobile command post (MCP) and a mobile replenishment vehicle (MRV).