Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the program to acquire medium-range ramjet supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles which was jointly developed by Russia and India is moving forward but getting enough funds for this remains a challenge. Earlier, Lorenzana said they are planning to acquire at least “two batteries” of the BrahMos cruise missiles with each battery having three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each. Once the missiles are delivered, Lorenzana said the BrahMos will be the first Philippine weaponry with deterrent capability.
Acquisition of a land-based missile system is under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program which is slated for 2018 to 2022 and geared for the acquisition of equipment geared for external defense and has a budget of PHP300 billion. The procurement would be via “government-to-government mode”. If acquired, the BrahMos cruise missiles will be utilized to fulfill the Philippine Army’s coastal defense missions. Aside from the Philippine Army, the Department of National Defense (DND) chief said the weapons can also be used by the Philippine Air Force.
The BrahMos (designated PJ-10) is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service. An air-launched variant of BrahMos appeared in 2012 and entered service in 2019. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. India wanted the BrahMos to be based on a mid range cruise missile like the P-700 Granit. Its propulsion is based on the Russian missile, and missile guidance has been developed by BrahMos Aerospace. In 2019, India upgraded the missile with a new range of 650 km.