The Philippines’ military capability is set to be further strengthened after the Department of National Defense (DND) inked a deal for the acquisition of Indian-made BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BrahMos Aerospace Director-General Atul Dinkar Rane officially signed the P18.9 billion contract through a virtual ceremony held at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

According to Lorenzana, the deal is a landmark event for the country’s military. 

“As Secretary of National Defense, I am elated to be part of this huge milestone for the AFP. The acquisition of Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missiles for the PN was first conceptualized in 2017. We are glad that in 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte finally approved its inclusion in Horizon 2 priority projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Program,” he explained. 

Under the contract, three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missiles will be delivered to the country. Lorenzana adds that the deliveries of the BrahMos for the PN’s Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project will start within a year. 

“It includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package. Conceptualized as early as 2017, the Office of the President approved its inclusion in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020,” Lorenzana shared. 

For the unaware, a missile battery typically contains three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each, along with tracking systems.

“Equipping our Navy with this vital asset is imperative as the Philippines continues to protect the integrity of its territory and defend its national interest,” the DND secretary emphasized. 

Lorenzana noted that these new missiles will aid in protecting the country’s territories, especially the West Philippine Sea. 

“As the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missiles, the BrahMos missiles will provide deterrence against any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the West Philippine Sea.”

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Image credit: DND’s Official Facebook Page