Philippines Awards BrahMos Contract For Navy Requirement

India shows off the BrahMos missile system in New Delhi.
Credit: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

SINGAPORE—The Philippines has awarded BrahMos Aerospace a $374.9 million deal for the BrahMos surface-to-surface missile system, making Manila the first foreign customer for the Indo-Russian supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.

On Dec. 31, 2021, defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the notice of award, which is now apparently circulating online. The acquisition is part of the Philippine Navy’s shore-based anti-ship missile project. Although the letter did not state the number of units the Philippines will receive, Lorenzana told local media numerous times in the months leading up to the award that the country was looking to acquire two batteries.

The BrahMos will give the Philippine Navy the beyond-the-horizon anti-ship capability the country feels it needs, given unresolved territorial claims in the South China Sea. Chinese naval activity around the islands’ waters remains persistent. 

The Philippines is not the first country in Southeast Asia to acquire such a missile capability. Indonesia has Russian-made supersonic anti-ship Yakhont cruise missiles while Vietnam has the Bastion-P defense system, which uses that same missile. 

Elswhere, India claimed a successful test-firing on Jan. 11 of an extended-range BrahMos from its newly commissioned Visakhapatnam-class destroyer against a surface target. While the standard missile has a range of 280 km (174 mi.), the improved naval variant can reach targets 350-400 km away.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.