Philippines Buying Brahmos Missile

Brahmos missile on display. Wikipedia

SHAH ALAM: Philippines is buying the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile. It has not signed a contract for the purchase of the missiles just yet but had signed an implementing agreement with the Indian government to facilitate the procurement.

From the Inquirer

Brahmos missile on display. Wikipedia

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines and India signed an agreement for a potential supply of BrahMos cruise missiles, a product of collaboration by India and Russia, which the Philippine government hoped would boost coastal defense.

Philippine Defense Undersecretary Raymund Elefante and Indian Ambassador Shambu Kumaran signed an implementing agreement on Tuesday (March 2) at Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), according to the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) on Facebook.

“We are buying the BrahMos missiles,” said Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who witnessed the signing ceremony. He did not provide details of the procurement plan yet.

BrahMos are medium-range supersonic (faster than the speed of sound) missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, planes or land. It is considered to be the fastest supersonic missile in the world.

Lorenzana said the agreement served as guide for the Philippines and India on “policies and procedures in the defense procurement.” It also served as a “legal framework for the procurement under the government-to-government modality,” Lorenzana added.

Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/194117/ph-eyes-deal-with-india-for-worlds-fastest-supersonic-missiles#ixzz6nzONK1sb
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On the way. A test firing of the Brahmos in 2019. Wikipedia.

It is likely that any contract will be done in the near future as the agreement signed will allow both countries to negotiate the deal. This is similar to the government to government deal between the Philippines and Israel which saw the former procuring things from ground intercept radars, light tanks and other weapons.

— Malaysian Defence

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22 Comments

  1. Whilst it’s understood that they want to acquire some level of deterrence to compensate for overall weaknesses; a small number of missiles doesn’t really do much in the overall context. Neither does a small number of submarines for that matter.

    To fully utilise the capabilities offered by Brahmos one would need a OTH and a strike/recce capability; currently lacking in the AFP. It’s not the actual missile but the key enablers needed to effectively operate it.

    This deal has led to a lot of debate within Filipino military and defence circles. Many of the opinion (one I agree with) that the cash would be better spent on
    MPAs, UASs, radars, etc.

    Reply
    Like our selves, national interest is a huge calling card

  2. If they 🇵🇭 are serious about protecting their ‘national interests’, and there’s wholehearted desire to operate Brahmos, perhaps they should consider the type of aircraft that can deliver the weapon. I’m not talking about their FA50.

  3. Buying weaponry is not necessary for Malaysia. A growing world superpower which has a strong interest of our land and seas need to be appeased.

  4. N9 – “Buying weaponry is not necessary for Malaysia”

    So what do you suggest? We
    downgrade the MAF to a “self defence force” which operates nothing heavier than 81 mortars?

    N9 – “. A growing world superpower which has a strong interest of our land and seas need to be appeased”

    What does that have to do with the price of oranges?

    The fact that there is a “growing superpower” (which we’ll never go head to head with) doesn’t in any way do away with the fact that there is a need for an adequately funded and equipped MAF.

    China is merely one of the security challenges we face and the key to deal with it is a combination of engagement and diplomacy in line with carious regional and no regional partnerships/engagements we have with various players.

  5. Taib – “there’s wholehearted desire to operate Brahmos”

    There’s a “wholehearted desire” to operate something which will enable some level of deterrence to compensate for the overall weakness of the AFP.

    Taib – “ perhaps they should consider the type of aircraft that can deliver the weapon”

    They are looking at land bases; ample range to hit anything within the EEZ and it’s periphery. The problem is detecting and tracking targets.

  6. @N9
    ‘a growing world superpower that …..need to be appeased’

    That’s exactly how the Finnish population felt living next to Mother Russia. Maybe we could ‘learn’ from them 🤔. Do we appease till we loose our pants or do we project an image that still cultivates respect for our sovereignty?

  7. We should buy both the land based n air borne versions of the missile. Our SU can carry that missile de. Land based can be fired from trucks.
    With the potential MPA mid course guidance would not be a problem

  8. Taib – “Do we appease till we loose our pants or do we project an image that still cultivates respect for our sovereignty?”

    The latter.

    We do what we can; in line with our ability; to have a MAF which can deal with the type of threats we are likely to face and one we can sustain. Unfortunately we have a MAF whose capabilities don’t reflect what we’ve spent on it; thanks to our longstanding highly flawed policy.

    Quite obviously we can’t and never will go head to head with the likes of China but any suggestion that we shouldn’t invest in the MAF on the basis that we can’t deal with China because it’s a much more powerful superpower is downright simplistic and silly.

    On Finland (long a part of the Russian empire); it fought a short a bitter war but ultimately sheer weight of numbers and attrition forced it to sign a one sided peace treaty. It has to give up part of the border area as well as some coastal areas and islands to the Soviets.

    It later became an ally of Germany and fought the ‘Continuation War’ to regain lost territories. When things started going bad Finland deserted Germany and made peace with the Soviets; again.

  9. @Taib
    “I’m not talking about their FA50”
    The only plane capable of carrying Brahmos (in NG form) is Su-30 tho traditionally Pinoy does not operate any Russian weaponry (none that I could think of).

    “Finnish population felt”
    Unlike our relation with China, Soviet Russia actually invaded Finland.

  10. Lee – “We should buy both the land based n air borne versions of the missile”

    There’s a long list of what we should buy. Given a choice I’d rather we add to what we already have or we improve what we already have.

    The MKMs and Hornets could use a AESA and we need more than the 3 MALEs approved for funding. Surely things like this would make more sense rather than a small number of Brahmos.

  11. Pinoys found out surveillance gear don’t scare anyone, but a big stick will. This is quite a big stick for them.

    @Lee Yoke Meng
    Our MKMs have to be strengthened and modified to carry Brahmos, it isn’t a simple drop in.

    @Marhalim
    I am curious if getting Brahmos might incur CAATSA or not.

    Reply
    I am editing this as I just found out that CAATSA may well be imposed on the Brahmos as 65 per cent of the missile is made in Russia. May well as it had not been tested yet.

  12. We have half a dozen different missiles for anti ship so safe to say another different anti ship missile is the least thing malaysia need right now

  13. dundun – “We have half a dozen different missiles”

    We don’t …

    We have 2 variants of Exocet, Sea Skua, Harpoon and KH-31.
    There is stuff like Maverick, Paveway and JDAM which although are not “anyi-ship” per see m; can if the circumstances permit be used for the role.

    As it stands there is no requirement for a coastal ASM but if we do ever get it; we must also get the key enablers that are needed. As far back as 10-12 years ago we were the first in the region to be offered Brahmos.

  14. You forget NSM which while is not officially in service yet, it’s not like we’re counting the birds in the sky as our flock either when the contract is already signed and will equip the gowinds

    Point is when we already have this many options, I don’t see the need for another type of anti ship missile

  15. dundun – “You forget NSM which while is not officially in service yet”

    Didn’t forget it. As you said; it’s not in service; so I didn’t include it.

    Dundun – “Point is when we already have this many options, I don’t see the need for another type of anti ship missile”

    I get the point you’re trying to make but if we ever had a requirement for a land based supersonic missile with a certain range; then we’d have to go for a missile which we don’t currently operate for the simple reason that nothing we currently operate fits the bill.

  16. @joe @Azlan
    Talking about invasions by neighbors… Lahad Datu was invaded by an irregular army, The Royal Sulu Army of Sultan Kiram 8 years ago. The Philippines basically just wrung their hands facing that issue then, aside from blockading the attackers from fleeing back to Tawi² and beyond precipitating more kidnappings and ransoming of Malaysians by desperate Suluks.
    South Vietnam invaded Southwest Cay in the Spratleys which was Filipino in 1975 with no challenge from the Philippines. The Thais and Khmers had a brief border spat (failed Thai land grab) resulting in multiple deaths on both sides in 2011. I forsee the same happening in Tg Datu/Teluk Melano region at the tip of Sarawak abutting Kalimantan Barat soon if we don’t watch out. The Indonesian government isn’t too happy that that region is turned into a national reserve by the Malaysian side. As a Sarawak-born Malaysian, I just barely trust our southern neighbors.

  17. Taib -“ As a Sarawak-born Malaysian, I just barely trust our southern”

    It’s got to do with being Malaysian and the fact that the country has had a long and troubled relationship with Indonesia.

    Looking at a map we are surrounded by Indonesia and depend on choke points close to its waters. On top of the Confrontation; we’ve had to deal with them over various issues. There are unresolved overlapping claims in Ambalat, the Melaka Straits and the South China Sea (Sarawak waters).

    Unsurprising that Indonesia has
    traditionally been a source of major concern for us and that in private we welcome a strong Singapore as a buffer and counterweight.

    As I mentioned in a previous discussion it’s with Indonesia (not China) in which there have been collisions, the throwing of stones,
    a ship close to being fired on, seizing our trawlers in our waters, etc.

    The Confrontation remains little known to most people yet it saw cross border raids; the only occasion when RMAF planes operated over hostile territory; our arty firing on Sebatik; a para drop on Johore, clashes at sea, Mustangs and Badgers flying over Tawau and Kuching; RAF and RAAF on alert to hit Java and Sumatra; Whiskies off Trengganu; etc.

    Both countries have yet to release an official history and a lot of stuff remains classified by the Brits in the archives (relating to HIMINT, plans and cross border raids.

  18. @Taib
    The situation and conditions leading to those conflicts are not the same for us. Unless state-backed (ie Ossetia & Crimea), insurgency are easier to contain and dealt with localised. Neither do we have a huge festering local insurgency that could explode like Marawi.

    As for state-on-state, unless our country goes batshit to hell and collapses, our neighbours are highly unlikely to be invading any significant territory.

    We don’t have to be first movers or leaders in the region arms race. We just have to keep pace with what being done by others. If they are investing into stealth 5th gen fighters, we should go in. If they are investing into UCAVs, we should go in. But we don’t have to be the starters and risk of failing. Failures cost money and we don’t have a lot of that to go around.

  19. @Lee Yoke Meng

    Instead of Brahmos I would prefer we get the land based and ship based version of the NSM, should it enter service with the Malaysian Armed Forces.

  20. That would make sense. If however planners decided we needed something supersonic with a certain range and payload then NSM won’t do the trick.

    Zero chance of us placing it on the reefs as it would increase tensions and the fact that with the exception of Layang-Layang our reefs are the size of several
    badminton courts; thus a land based system would have to be in the mainland.

    For the AFP what what makes Brahmos appealing is its speed, range but they don’t have the key enablers needed to fully maximise its potential.

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