The Philippines has completed a deal to acquire three BrahMos ground-based missile systems from India for almost $375 million to boost its navy, Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said.
“I recently signed the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile Acquisition Project. Negotiated with the Government of India, it includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package,” Lorenzana wrote on Facebook on Friday.
According to the minister, the $374.9 million deal with Brahmos Aerospace Private was firstly “conceptualized” in 2017 and approved by the Philippine government only in 2020.
Earlier, India has successfully test-launched an advanced naval version of its supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.
“Advanced sea to sea variant of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile was tested from INS [Indian Naval Ship] Visakhapatnam today. The missile hit the designated target ship precisely,” the DRDO tweeted.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised the launch on Twitter, saying it reconfirms “robustness of [the Indian navy’s] mission readiness,” and lauded the navy’s teamwork with the DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace company.
In December 2021, India successfully test-fired an air version of the BrahMos cruise missile from a Sukhoi 30 MK-I Russian fighter, the Indian Ministry of Defence had stated.
“Air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from the supersonic fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30 MK-I at 1030 hrs from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on December 08, 2021. In this copybook flight, the missile launched from the aircraft followed the pre-planned trajectory meeting all mission objectives,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry described the launch as a “major milestone” in the development of BrahMos since it paves the way for serial production of the aerial version of BrahMos missiles within India.
The joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace was established in 1998. It specializes in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems.
In 2018, the Indian Ministry of Defence signed a deal with the company on the rearmament of the Indian air force’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters with the BrahMos cruise missile system as part of the capacity building against long-range targets in the Indian Ocean.
BrahMos Aerospace is a Russian-Indian enterprise producing supersonic cruise missiles capable of being launched from submarines, ships, planes or land platforms. It was established in 1998 and named after the rivers of Brahmaputra and Moscow. The Russian side of the venture is represented by the NPO Mashinostroyenia company.
Smaller, Lighter BrahMos
The joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace is planning to develop a lighter version of its missile but with similar operational characteristics, BrahMos co-director Alexander Maksichev told Sputnik.
“We now want to make a missile with the same characteristics but of a smaller size. This work is planned. If it is smaller, then it will probably be on Sukhoi planes, and if it fits Tejas [Indian single-engine multirole light fighter], then it will be just wonderful,” he said on the sidelines of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021 outside Moscow.
The current version of BrahMos weighs 2.5 tonnes, which is “a fairly large missile,” Maksichev noted.
Speaking of the process of equipping the Indian air force’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters with BrahMos cruise missiles, Maksichev said that the tests were completed back in 2019.
“We have a serial order. We supply serial missiles for aircraft. The aircraft have also been prepared [to be equipped with cruise missiles] … Everything goes as planned. A squadron called Tiger Sharks has been formed. Training and launches are underway. And successful launches,” he said.
The executive recalled that the BrahMos missiles have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles).
“We even had a test when a jet took off from the west coast, flew all over India, refueled, launched a missile and returned … It launches a missile without entering the enemy counteraction zone. This is the most important thing. This increases the combat survivability of the aircraft. Plus the missile itself is very powerful and highly effective,” he added.
BrahMos Aerospace, established in 1998, specializes in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems.