India delivers first batch of BrahMos missiles to Philippines


PTI, Apr 19, 2024, 8:39 PM IST

Source: PTI / File

New Delhi: India on Friday delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, in reflection of the growing military ties between the two countries amid China’s military muscle-flexing in the South China Sea.

The supplies came over two years India signed a USD 375 million deal with the Southeast Asian nation to supply the weapon systems.

A C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) transported the missile and the launchers to the Philippines for the country’s marine forces, official sources said.

Under the January 2022 deal, India will supply three batteries of the missiles, their launchers and related equipment.

It was the first export of the BrahMos missile by India.

A few other countries including Argentina have also shown interest in procuring BrahMos missiles from India.

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.

India has been looking at further expanding defence ties with the Philippines against the backdrop of growing global concerns over China’s increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Both India and the Philippines have been emphasising the need for peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea and for adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).

The twin sides are also favouring implementation of an arbitral award by a UN court on the South China Sea.

The UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration, adjudicating the Philippines’ case against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, ruled in favour of Manila. However, China refused to accept the verdict.

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 counterclaims.

As part of efforts to boost military ties with the Philippines, India has decided to post a defence attache to that country along with Ethiopia, Mozambique, Poland and Ivory Coast.

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