The Philippines is eyeing to sign a contract for the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile early next year, Philippine News Agency reported citing Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
The Secretary made the announcement when asked about the possibility of the Philippines having the missile on its inventory.
“Signing of the contract will be in 2020. Possibly on the first or second quarter,” Lorenzana said in Filipino adding that two batteries of the missile will be procured via “government-to-government mode”.
A missile battery will include three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each.
The missile systems are being procured primarily for coastal defense missions of the Philippine Army (PA). Aside from the PA, the DND chief said the weapons can also be used by the Philippine Air Force.
Once delivered, he said the BrahMos will be the first Philippine weaponry with deterrent capability.
The acquisition of a land-based missile system is under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program slated from 2018 to 2022 for the acquisition of equipment geared for external defense and has a budget of PHP300 billion.
The PA in October activated its first land-based missile battery system which is under the supervision of its Army Artillery Regiment. The unit is currently working on its training programs before acquiring the equipment.
BrahMos is an Indo-Russian medium-range ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s DRDO and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
The BrahMos missile based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology.
The 3-ton missile has a top speed of Mach 3 and is capable of carrying warheads weighing 200 to 300 kilograms to a range of around 300 km. BrahMos is considered as the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
There are variants of the missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land-based launchers in both land attack (LACM) and anti-ship (ASCM) role. The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service, with the air and submarine-launched versions currently in the testing phase.
A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability.