DND buys BrahMos supersonic missiles for coastal defense

Published January 15, 2022, 1:58 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed Friday night, Jan. 14, that it has approved the procurement of supersonic missiles from India worth around $375 million as part of its strategy to improve the Philippines’ coastal defense and protect its claims in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

(Photo from DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Facebook page)

DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy’s “Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile Acquisition Project” to India’s BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd. through a letter dated Dec. 31, 2021.

“As [DND’s] head of procuring entity (HOPE), I recently signed the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile Acquisition Project,” he said.

(Photo from DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Facebook page)

BrahMos’ missile has been widely recognized as the fastest supersonic missile in the world.

According to BrahMos’ website, its supersonic missile is a “two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage.” This brings the missile to a supersonic speed during firing before it gets separated.

Meanwhile, a liquid ramjet or the second stage “takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase.”

BrahMos said its missile has a flight range of up to 290 km with supersonic speed all through the flight, which leads to a shorter flight time.

(Photo from DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Facebook page)

BrahMos said that with such special features, its missile ensures a lower dispersion of its targets, a quicker engagement time, and “non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.”

The modern strategic capability costs USD374,962,800 and will be utilized by the Coastal Defense Regiment of the Philippine Marines, according to Lorenzana. The acquisition project was facilitated through a government-to-government (G2G) deal.

The acquisition project will include the delivery of three missile batteries, training for operators and maintainers, as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.

(Photo from DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Facebook page)

A single missile battery usually consists of three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each along with its tracking systems.

The acquisition project was conceptualized as early as 2017 and approved by the Office of the President in 2020 as part of the “Horizon” 2 Priority Projects under the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) amid recent tension in the West Philippine Sea involving Chinese vessels’ reported incursions.