The Philippines military has begun testing BrahMos, and much of the negotiations had revolved around the cost of the system and financing for the deal

BrahMos missile agreement between India and the Philippines

The Philippines is on its way to becoming the first country in the world to sign a contract to buy the BrahMos cruise missile developed jointly by New Delhi and Moscow. In early November 2020, the Indian press simultaneously reported that India and the Philippines would sign an agreement on the BrahMos missile during a planned summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Rodrigo Duterte next year.

As the Hindustan Times reported last December, that the Philippines was set to become the first country to buy the BrahMos cruise missile system. Although both sides wanted to finalize the agreement earlier this year, the matter was affected by developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Philippines military has begun testing BrahMos, and much of the negotiations had revolved around the cost of the system and financing for the deal. The supersonic cruise missile with a range of about 500 km will equip the Philippines Army’s first Land Based Missile System Battery.

The Philippines Army expects this battery to be fully ready and for all the equipment to be acquired by 2024. According to the plans, the battery will be fully capable of defending the Philippines against external threats by 2028.

BrahMos cruise missile
BrahMos cruise missile

The BrahMos missile is the result of cooperation between India and Russia

BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile, known as the “carrier killer” of India, developed based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology. BrahMos can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.

Initially, Russia supplied 65% of the BrahMos’ components, including its ramjet engine and radar seeker. Currently 65% of the missile is manufactured in India and there are plans to increase this to 85% by replacing the components with an Indian made seeker and booster.

The BRAHMOS entered service with the Indian armed forces in 2006, adopted by Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

Specifications of the BrahMos missile

The standard version of the BrahMos missile is 8.4 meters long, 0.6 meters in diameter, weighs 3 tons, has a range of 300-500km depending on the version. It has a two-stage propulsion system. It uses solid-fuel rocket booster for initial acceleration and liquid-fuel ramjet for sustained supersonic cruise. The booster is ejected by the airflow after it has burned out.

The BRAHMOS is one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world. It travels at supersonic speed and can gain a speed of Mach 2.8. BrahMos works in a “fire-and-forget” mechanism. The missile after launching does not need any other controls, it automatically receives the positioning signal from the satellite and then maneuver to the target. On its way it has the ability to change speed and direction twice to avoid enemy missile defense radars.

BrahMos can receive 2 control channels of both US GPS and Russian GLONASS. At the end of the flight phase, it automatically disconnects all satellites and lowers the altitude to 5-15 meters above sea level, activates an automatic seeker, locates the target to a pin-point accuracy. Neither target can escape BrahMos.

BrahMos versions

The land, sea, and sub-sea versions of BrahMos are identical in configuration. It can be launched in vertical or inclined position and is capable of covering targets over a 360-degree horizon. The air-launched version has a smaller booster and additional tail fins for added stability during launch.

India began speeding up the completion of a set of three tactical cruise missiles launched at sea, in the air and on land. By the end of 2019, the Indian Air Force announced that the integration of the BrahMos missile on Su-30MKI fighters was completed. This gives the Indian Air Force the ability to remotely engage any target at sea or on land with high accuracy, in all weather conditions, day and night.

Potential

India has been in talks with several countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, over the past few years to sell them land and sea-based versions of the BrahMos.

With the BrahMos missile, the Philippines will become the first Southeast Asian country to own this powerful missile. The Philippines’ coastal defense power will be raised to a new level.

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