The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is attracting interest from the Philippines. Senior officials from the Philippine Army expressed keen interest in the BrahMos missile system during a visit of the Indian warship INS Sahyadri (F-49), a guided missile stealth corvette, which made a port call at Manila, Philippines in October.
“The Philippine Army is interested in acquiring this type of missile as it will strengthen our coastal defence operations,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ramon P. Zagala, Philippine Army Spokesperson. Philippine Army Vice Commander Major General Reynaldo M. Aquino and other Army officers were briefed on the BrahMos missile system by the Commanding Officer of INS Sahyadri Captain Ashwin Arvind.
The Philippines is looking at an Integrated Missile Defence System programme, that will feature close coordination with the Philippine Navy and Air Force. The Philippine Army activated its first 1st Land-Based Missile System Battery (1LBMS Btry) in October and is currently working on its training programs before acquiring its future equipment. 1LBMS Btry will operate under the Army Artillery Regiment (AAR) will help augment the army’s firepower in any future large-scale armed confrontation.
A majority of the frontline ships of Indian Navy, such as INS Kolkata, INS Ranvir and Teg Class warships are capable of firing BrahMos. Land attack variants of BrahMos provide Indian warships with the ability to precisely neutralize selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also given its approval for the procurement of Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB, Long Range) which would be fitted with BrahMos surface-to-surface cruise missiles.
The NGMMCB will be deployed along the Indian coastline. The latest variant delivered to the army is the BrahMos Block III, which has been tested in full operational land-to-land configurations from Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL) at its full-range.
An air launched version of the BrahMos will soon be operational with the Indian Air Force (IAF), following the completion of operational testing. The 2.8 Mach BrahMos missile is ideally suited for launch from large stand-off ranges to engage fortified targets deep inside the enemy territory with precision. The BrahMos air launched cruise will also be available in an anti-shipping missile version.
A new variant is the BrahMos NG which is confirmed for fitment on both Tejas Mk1A and Tejas Mk2 variants, BrahMos NG will be a lighter weight missile and incorporate numerous advances in its stealth and seeker technology. Two BrahMos-NG supersonic cruise missiles can be carried on the Tejas on its outboard wing pylons. The high speed of BrahMos-NG coupled with its advanced seekers, which provide multi-target capability, will make it a lethal stand-off weapon.
Efforts are underway for greater indigenization of the cruise missile with an Indian propulsion system, indigenous seeker, airframe, power supply and other major indigenous components. Critical indigenous components including fuel management system and other non-metallic airframe components have already been qualified to form part of the missile.
The Indian Navy inducted BrahMos in 2006, followed by the Indian Army, which inducted the supersonic cruise missile weapon system in 2007. The air force has already operationalized the mobile, land based BrahMos since 2014. BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, is a JV between India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and NPO Mashinostoyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
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