Prototype of Brahmos Coastal Mobile Missile System for Philippines Navy
PC : Reuters

On 02 March 2021, India and the Philippines signed a defence agreement after which India will supply BrahMos anti-ship missile to the Philippines. Immediately after signing this agreement, the BrahMos deal has become the talk of the town in major world capitals as the Philippines Navy had options to buy the latest anti-ship missiles from the US, Britain, or France. However, the Philippines choose the Indian BrahMos missile for its Navy. In today’s Guarding India Exclusive we will tell cover those capabilities of the BrahMos missile due to which it was selected by the Philippines.

If you want to watch this in form of a YouTube video then please click on this link or you may continue to read this article.

Before talking about the BrahMos deal, an average Indian must know about the Philippines. The Philippines is an island nation of Southeast Asia which is located in the Western Pacific Ocean. Manila is the capital of the Philippines and it has a total of 7641 islands. Due to being located in the middle of the sea, the Philippines does not have any neighbouring country. The Philippines is a peace-loving nation and has good relations with India, the USA, and Japan.

However, for the past couple of years, China mistook the peace-loving nature of the Philippines as its weakness and has continuously tried to capture Philippine islands located in the South China Sea. In 2012, Chinese fishing boats illegally entered Scarborough Shoal island of the Philippines. When the Philippines Coast Guard tried to capture them, the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships prevented the Philippines Coast Guard. Brazenly, even after this, China claimed that the Scarborough Shoal area belongs to China, not to the Philippines. This Chinese claim was dismissed by the UN’s international court in 2016 which reiterated that the Scarborough Shoal area belongs to the Philippines. Therefore, the Chinese Navy and Chinese Coast Guard have no rights to be present in that area.

Even after this legal defeat and refusing to observe any international rule, China has continued its belligerent attitude and presently around 200 Chinese fishing boats are illegally fishing in the Philippines island area which has turned into a big controversy. Frustrated by such behaviour of the Chinese Navy, the Philippines decided to increase its naval power. Thereafter, the Philippines Navy started searching for a potent anti-ship missile to face Chinese ships and finally selected the Indian BrahMos missile. Now we will discuss why the Philippines selected the BrahMos missile only.

Chinese Boats in Scarborough Shoal
Chinese Boats in Scarborough Shoal | PC : Guarding India YouTube Screengrab

BrahMos missile has been jointly developed by India and Russia in the early 2000s. This missile merges the propulsion system of the Russian Cold War killer P-800 Oniks missile with a new generation Indian guidance system. This successful merger makes BrahMos the most unique missile in the world. Presently, the BrahMos missile is in service with all three armed forces of India. Indian Navy has deployed BrahMos Missile on its frontline ships and submarines while Indian Air Force uses air-launched BrahMos version which is launched from Su-30 MKI fighter. Indian Army has also deployed BrahMos missile to defend challenging terrains like Rajasthan and Leh. Overall, the BrahMos missile has turned into a clear favorite of the Indian Armed Forces.

You will be surprised to know that the BrahMos missile is the fastest cruise missile in the world which flies at the speed of Mach 2.8 means 3500 kilometers per hour. The speed of the BrahMos missile is far greater than all western anti-ship missiles like US Navy’s Harpoon missile, French Exocet missile, or Royal Navy’s Sea Venom missile. Additionally, the BrahMos missile weighs around 3 tons means 3000 kilograms which when combined with the high speed of the BrahMos missile imparts an astonishing amount of kinetic energy. Due to its amazing combination of high speed and high weight, the BrahMos missile has so much power that on impact, it can break any ship in two parts by its enormous kinetic energy.

DRDO 's BrahMos missile on display at Rajpath during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations.
DRDO ‘s BrahMos missile on display at Rajpath during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations. | PC : PTI

Besides this, the BrahMos missile also has sea-skimming capability means it can fly at 5 meters from sea surface due to which radars aboard enemy ships cannot see this missile until its too late to react or to counter it. Due to a combination of several leading technologies including stealth, the Brahmos missile literally turns all ship-based defence useless and therefore it considered as the most dangerous anti-ship missile in the world. The range of the Indian BrahMos missile is about 650 kilometers while the BrahMos being exported to the Philippines Navy will be having a 290-kilometer range.

Presently, the Philippines has ordered only one battery of BrahMos missile which has around two BrahMos Command Posts and 4 or 6 BrahMos missile launchers whose final number is yet to be disclosed by the Philippines Navy. A single BrahMos launcher has three ready to fire BrahMos missiles mounted on TATRA 816 truck. These launchers have an inbuilt secure communication system that can launch BrahMos missile immediately after getting orders from the Command Post which drastically shortens the response time. The BrahMos missile selected by the Philippines Navy is a ground-based anti-ship variant that will be mounted in a configuration similar to the one being used by the Indian Army.

Prototype of Brahmos Coastal Mobile Missile System for Philippines Navy
Prototype of Brahmos Coastal Mobile Missile System for Philippines Navy | PC : Reuters

After the BrahMos missile deal, Philippine Navy is quite happy as now they can easily target Chinese Navy ships. This deal worth 100 million USD is a big achievement not only for the BrahMos corporation but also for the entire Indian Defence Sector as after this deal, gates have opened for more such deals.

Finally, on behalf of Team Guarding India, I would like to say that the Philippines BrahMos deal will not only turn India into a defence exporter but also teach a big lesson to China as previously China has continuously supplied Pakistan with the latest missile technology and by providing BrahMos missile to the Philippines, India can now repay China in the same currency.