Diplomacy

India-Russia set to export BrahMos missile to Philippines: Report

File Photo: BrahMos missile’s land attack variant being test fired.

New Delhi: India and Russia may soon get their first export customer in Philippines for their joint venture BrahMos missile, even as New Delhi is engaged in price negotiations with Manila for a possible sale.

The deal could be concluded in 2020 and the end customer could be the Philippines Army, according to a report in the Hindustan Times today.

Among the other foreign customers for the India-Russia joint venture missile are Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. These nations are interested in buying the land- and ship-based variants of the world’s only operational supersonic cruise missile that can reach a range of over 290 km and touch speeds of close to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound.

The Philippines Army had zeroed in on the BrahMos after extensive trials and everything now revolved around the cost of the system and financing for the deal, the report said without naming the source of its information.

The BrahMos system’s cost could determine the purchase scope and size to arm the Philippines Army’s first land-based missile battery, raised in October this year.

India has previously offered a $100-million line of credit to the Philippines for arms purchases from India. Among the systems that Manila intends acquiring from India for a very long time is the BrahMos missile, but it would be with its own defence budget, the report said.

India had displayed a mock up of the BrahMos missile at the defence exhbition held in Manila on Dec. 5. The missile was displayed mounted on a truck launcher system and a chart outlined the Philippines Army’s development road map for the first Land Based Missile Battery.

The chart said the battery had been activated and its personnel would undergo special courses on rockets, missiles and training simulators to be prepared for inducting the missiles.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Philippines in 2017, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on defence industry and logistics cooperation to provide a framework for strengthening cooperation and coordination in logistics support and services, and in the development, production and procurement of defence hardware.

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