Source: Sputnik News

New Delhi (Sputnik): In a major development that could change the power dynamics in Southeast Asia, the Philippines Army has indicated that it is going ahead with the purchase of the BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile, an India-Russia joint development that is considered the world’s deadliest missile and can hit the target at around Mach 3 speed.

The Philippines army has brought out a mock-up of the BrahMos land-based anti-ship missile at an arms expo in Manila.

The mock-up of the missile, which is currently operational with the Indian armed forces, has been displayed on a modified mobile firing unit using the Philippine Army’s existing Kia KM500 tractor head and trailer.

The Philippine Army in October activated its first land-based missile battery and an aviation regiment, and the missile is expected to enter service by 2024.

Philippines Army spokesperson Ramon Zagala said that during the goodwill visit of two Indian warships – the INS Sahyadri guided missile stealth frigate and the Kiltan anti-submarine warfare corvette – Philippe Army officials were briefed about the Brahmos missile.

Zagala added that the Philippine Army “is interested in acquiring this type of missile as it will strengthen our coastal defence operations.” It is believed that talks are underway with India for the possible purchase of one battery.

The Chief of BrahMos Aerospace – a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia – Sudhir Kumar Mishra, claimed in August that several countries had expressed their interest in buying the missile. However, it is yet to confirm whether Russia has approved the sale of BrahMos to the Philippines.

“India’s friendly relations with the US and Russia’s friendly relations with China are coming in the way of Brahmos sales. India will not allow sales to US adversaries and Russia will not allow sales to Chinese adversaries so whom does Brahmos sell its missile to?” Vijainder K Thakur, ex-Indian Air Force squadron leader and defence analyst said.

Once acquired, the BrahMos missile can be expected to augment the firepower of troops especially in a large-scale armed confrontation. It could also be used for internal defence and allied security engagements.

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