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Philippines to deploy BrahMos missiles with new coastal defence unit

Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana has signed the notice of award that paves the way for the procurement of BrahMos missiles. The weapon will be deployed by the Philippine Marine Corps. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The BrahMos shore-based anti-ship missiles that Manila will acquire from India will be deployed with the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC).

The news was confirmed by the country's Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana on his official social media page on 14 January.

The weapons will be operated by a relatively new formation within the PMC known as the Coastal Defense Regiment, which was activated in August 2020.

Lorenzana signed a USD375 million notice of award that was issued to India's BrahMos Aerospace in December 2021. Under the arrangement, BrahMos Aerospace will supply the PMC with three batteries of shore-based anti-ship missiles including a logistics and training package.

The programme has been listed as a priority project under Horizon 2 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines three-phased modernisation programme.

The Philippines indicated its interest in the BrahMos missile as early as December 2019. The weapon is seen as one that would significantly improve the country's anti-access and area-denial capabilities amid China's assertive actions in the South China Sea.

The BrahMos missile has a range of about 290 km and is deployed on vehicle-mounted batteries. Each vehicle can carry three missiles and datalink antenna for targeting.

In 2012 India also tested a coastal version of the BrahMos that features a steep‐dive attack profile for better strike capabilities against aircraft carriers, but it is unclear if this is the variant that will be supplied to the Philippines.

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