The Notice of Award has been communicated to BrahMos officials by the Philippines’ Department of National Defence. The notice of award sought a response from BrahMos Aerospace within 10 days. Most recently, the Indian Navy tested a naval variant of BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, from its destroyer INS Visakhapatnam.
The pandemic had hit the Philippines exchequer, delaying its order for the BrahMos missiles. Last year, both sides signed a defence arrangement that would enable export of defence equipment to Manila from India. Other countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Indonesia, have also expressed their interest in buying BrahMos from India to secure their defence architecture.
India’s ties with the Philippines have been upgraded over the past few years, with the two countries expanding their defence partnership and are negotiating a preferential trade agreement. Earlier, India extended a $100-million defence-related LoC to Manila.
The BrahMos order is the first major military export by India. The supersonic missile has been developed jointly with Russia, with several versions planned in the future including a lighter longer-range system that can be launched from aircraft and submarines.
India has been promoting the missile system to several nations in the neighbourhood, including the UAE. It is being showcased as a multi-purpose missile that can target ground locations as well as surface threats from the sea.
The defence ministry has been actively promoting exports, with minister Rajnath Singh making it a point to talk about a variety of equipment on offer during bilateral talks with friendly nations. Several changes have been made to make exports easier, including sanctioning of funds to Indian missions abroad for promoting indigenous arms.