Philippines receives India, Russia-produced cruise missiles amid tensions with China

The Philippines was delivered India-Russia joint production BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles amid escalating tensions in the South China Sea, Indian news agency ANI reported earlier.

The Philippines plans to station three batteries of the BrahMos missile system along their coastlines, aiming to bolster their defensive capabilities and address potential security challenges posed by China in the area.

The delivery of the Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile System comes as part of a $375 million deal signed by India and the Southeast Asian country in 2022.

The producer, BrahMos Aerospace, is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian Space company NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), with the shares of the two is 50.5% and 49.5% respectively. It was named after two rivers in India and Russia– the Brahmaputra and the Moskva.

BrahMos, a dual-stage missile equipped with a solid propellant booster engine, accelerates to supersonic speeds in its initial stage before separating. Subsequently, its liquid ramjet propels it to nearly triple the speed of sound during the cruise phase.

Notably, the missile boasts a minimal radar signature, enhancing its stealth capabilities, and is capable of executing diverse trajectories. Operating on a "fire and forget" principle, it can attain cruising altitudes of up to 15 km and descend to as low as 10 m for precise target strikes. The missile surpasses subsonic cruise missiles with triple the speed, 2.5 times the flight range, and extended operational capabilities.

The Philippines is the first nation that has acquired the missile system, however, earlier reports suggested that several other nations in Southeast Asia have expressed interest in buying it, including Vietnam and Thailand.

Tensions in the South China Sea persist as Beijing asserts near-complete ownership, leading to confrontations between Chinese and Philippine ships that raise concerns about escalating conflicts.

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