DND signs P18.9-B cruise missile deal with Indian company
MANILA – The Ministry of National Defense (DND) on Friday officially signed the contract for the acquisition of Indian-made BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BrahMos Aerospace Managing Director Atul Dinkar Rane signed the contract worth PHP 18.9 billion during a virtual ceremony at DND Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu physically represented New Delhi at the event.
Lorenzana said the signing of the BrahMos contract is an important milestone for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“As Secretary of National Defence, I am delighted to be part of this important milestone for AFP. The acquisition of land-based anti-ship missiles for the PN was first conceptualized in 2017. We We are pleased that in 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte finally approved its inclusion in Horizon 2’s priority projects under the revised AFP modernization program,” he added.
Three BrahMos cruise missile batteries will be acquired by the country under this contract.
Earlier, Lorenzana said deliveries of the BrahMos for the PN’s land-based anti-ship missile system acquisition project are expected to begin within a year.
On December 31, the Head of DND signed the Navy BrahMos acquisition project award notice, which is a government-to-government agreement signed with India.
“It includes the delivery of three batteries, training of operators and maintainers as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package. Conceptualized as early as 2017, the President’s office approved its inclusion in Horizon 2’s priority projects in 2020,” he added.
A missile battery usually consists of three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each, along with tracking systems.
“Equipping our navy with this vital asset is imperative as the Philippines continues to protect the integrity of its territory and defend its national interests,” the DND chief added.
Lorenzana also said the BrahMos cruise missiles will significantly boost the firepower of the PN, especially the Philippine Marine Corps Coastal Defense Regiment.
He added that the BrahMos cruise missile system will provide counterattack capabilities in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
“As the fastest supersonic cruise missiles in the world, the BrahMos missiles will deter any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the Western Philippine Sea,” Lorenzana said.
The DND Chief also took the opportunity to express his thanks to the Government of India and its people for making the BrahMos deal possible.
“With that, let me now express my gratitude to the government and people of India, represented by Ambassador Shambu Kumaran, for making this effort. This was facilitated by the Defense Materiel and Equipment Procurement Implementation Agreement signed by DND. and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of India in March 2021,” Lorenzana said.
He also expressed hope that the defense relations of the Philippines and India will continue to flourish and strengthen, especially in the field of logistics cooperation and defense industry.
“Also allow me to thank BrahMos Aerospace for what has been a smooth procurement process, which I hope we can maintain as we move forward with our respective contractual obligations. It is our absolute honor to be the first foreign country to acquire your supersonic cruise missile systems,” Lorenzana said.
He also commended all officials and staff of the DND Tenders and Tenders Committee and Technical Working Group who worked diligently to expedite this procurement process.
“As we race against the clock in implementing Horizon 2 of AFP’s revised modernization program, may this milestone inspire you to work harder to complete our remaining acquisition plans,” said Lorenzana.
He also expressed that these developments will inspire sailors and navies in fulfilling their mission.
“Rest assured that the government under the Duterte administration, until the end of the president’s term, will support your vision of becoming a modern, versatile navy capable of defending our territory, protecting our seas and securing our maritime nation’s future. said Lorenzana. (NAP)