The Philippines has agreed to buy an anti-ship missile system from India, the defense minister said on Friday (Jan 14), shoring up its security in the face of growing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
Manila’s military was one of the most poorly equipped in Asia when President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, began a modest modernization program in 2012 – but it is still no match for its neighbor China.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana offered few details about the nearly $375 million ($505 million) contract awarded to BrahMos Aerospace to supply an onshore anti-ship missile system to the Philippine Navy.
BrahMos – a joint venture between India and Russia – has developed a cruise missile that the Indian defense ministry says is the fastest in the world.
The Philippines would be the first country to purchase it.
The deal involves three batteries, training for operators and maintainers as well as logistics support, Lorenzana said on Facebook where he posted a copy of the “Notice of Award”.
Duterte has been seeking to acquire missile systems for the Philippine military under a modernization program called “Second Horizon”.