PH Army eyes BrahMos missiles for coastal defense

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 12, 2023, 1:22 pm

<p>AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (Photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)</p>

AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (Photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) is planning to acquire the Indian-made BrahMos cruise missile system which it would use to defend the country's coastlines together with the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC).

"Sa Marines mauna yun (delivery) ng BrahMos, tatlong battery yata yun sa kanila(the Marines will be getting the first deliveries of the BrahMos, they will be getting three batteries)," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said during a recent media interview.

While he did not specify the number of batteries the Army would be getting, Brawner said it would be higher than those that would be acquired by the PMC.

A missile battery typically consists of three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each, along with the tracking systems.

Once the PA's acquisition proposal for the BrahMos cruise missile system is approved and funded, the AFP chief said this will be used for coastal defense missions like the PMC.

"Coastal defense din oo, pero kung ano yung gaps nagusap naman ang Army at Marines, so marines dito kayo nakatutok, Army dito (It will also be used for coastal defense, and be used to cover gaps in coverage. The Marines will be covering this sector and the Army another)," Brawner said.

Earlier, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. said deliveries of these weapon platforms for the PMC will proceed at the end of this year.

The BrahMos cruise missile can be launched from a ship, aircraft, submarine or land, and has a top speed of around Mach 2.8 (around 3,400 km. per hour), and is capable of carrying warheads weighing 200 to 300 kilograms.

This weapon platform is expected to address the country’s military’s weaknesses and vulnerability in sea control, anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD), and coastal and island defense operations.

Former DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BrahMos Aerospace director general Atul Dinkar Rane signed the contract worth PHP18.9 billion in a virtual ceremony at defense headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City in January 2022.

Three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missiles will be acquired by the country under this contract. (PNA)