Two years after signing the $375 million deal, India is finally ready to start the first delivery of a naval version of BrahMos supersonic missiles to the Philippines later this week, enhancing the deterrence capabilities of the island country confronting an expansionist China.

BrahMos missile shipment timelines have been shifting owing to reasons that at times were extraneous as well. India was supposed to deliver the first export of BrahMos in December 2023, General Manager for Market Promotion and Export of BrahMos Aerospace Praveen Pathak had said earlier.

Due to the extreme weather conditions, the export of major indigenous defence equipment systems was delayed by a couple of months. Then it was expected sometime towards the end of March, which too did not happen. Again, the reason cited was the strong monsoon that created hurdles in the preparation of missile deployment sites construction.

Finally, sources in BrahMos Aerospace – a joint venture between India and Russia – told businessline that the maiden export process is on and should happen “hopefully this week”.

Missile diplomacy

The Philippines has already signed an acceptance letter after giving a nod to the supersonic missile system that has a 400 km range, Mach 2.8 speed and a warhead capable of piercing the toughest of ship hulls.

The deal for three batteries of BrahMos with the island nation includes an offer of an integrated logistics support package and training for operators and maintainers.

Other countries, including Indonesia and Vietnam, have also shown interest in BrahMos missiles. While the talks with Indonesia are believed to be at a fairly advanced stage, Vietnam too is exploring the missile acquisition, with India willing to offer line of credit to the south east Asian country like it has done to African and South American nations for selling its indigenous military hardware, said sources. 

Multiple upgrades

 Deployed by the tri-services in India, the BrahMos missile project has achieved 75 per cent indigenous capability which is in line with the government’s push for Aatmanirbharta in the defence sector.

Other than that, the missile has undergone multiple upgrades through the infusion of better software and hardware alterations, lifting its accuracy, destructive power and range.

BrahMos Aerospace is developing a hypersonic missile having a speed of Mach 8 and a possible range of 600 km.