English News


India and the Philippines ink $375 million deal for BrahMos missile

The Brahmos weapon system takes part in the 72nd Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: ANI/R Raveendran)

India signed a deal with the Philippines for the sale of the BrahMos missile, developed jointly by India and Russia, on Friday. Under the deal, India will supply shore-based anti-ship missile systems for the Philippines Navy worth $374.9 million (Rs 2,770 crore).

A statement by the Ministry of Defence said: "BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) signed a contract with the Department of National Defence of the Republic of Philippines on January 28, 2022 for supply of Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile System to Philippines… The contract is an important step forward for Government of India’s policy of promoting responsible defence exports".

The contract was signed by Brahmos CEO Atul D Rane and Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defence of the Philippines. Indian ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran and senior defence officials from the Philippines were present at the ceremony.

For India, it is a big boost for the government which has been trying to sell made-in-India weapons for the past many years. The Brahmos deal becomes India's most visible defence deal. New Delhi is also hoping that the Philippines deal will pave the way for other south-east Asian nations to buy the missiles from India.

Philippines becomes the first importer of the Brahmos–a joint venture between India and Russia. It will help the country counter China in the South China Sea (SCS), where Beijing has been pushing aggressively for control over maritime resources and has armed numerous islands and coral reefs.

Manila hopes to bolster its counter-attack capacity with the Brahmos in a bid to deter China which has laid claim to islands within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zones. Manila dragged Beijing to an international tribunal in the Hague and won the case but China has refused to vacate the islands that it occupies in Philipino waters.

The Brahmos takes its name from the Brahmaputra and the Moskva rivers. These are believed to be the fastest supersonic cruise missiles in the world which can be fired from land, sea and air.

India also is in advanced talks with Thailand and Indonesia for the export of the Brahmos. According to reports, the Indonesian navy is looking for missiles that can be launched from ships.

Manila's procurement of the missiles is a direct signal to China. With this sale, and with future possible sales to other countries in south-east Asia, India will effectively create a deterrence against China in a region Beijing considers its backyard.