By Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA – The upcoming delivery of the Indian-made BrahMos cruise missile system would bring the Philippines’ military capability to the “supersonic” missile era and greatly enhance the country’s defense capabilities, a ranking security official said Wednesday.
“It is a real game changer because it brings the Philippines to the supersonic age. For the first time in our history, the Philippines will have three batteries of supersonic cruise missiles that have a speed of (Mach 2.8) or almost 3x (times) the speed of sound,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said in a message to the Philippine News Agency, when asked how this weapon system would contribute to national security.
Malaya also called the BrahMos cruise missile system acquisition a “landmark development in our modernization program” that would significantly increase the capacity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Marine Corps in addressing threats to the country’s territorial integrity.
The delivery of the BrahMos cruise missiles and all its systems are expected to be completed within the first quarter of this year.
Malaya said that the BrahMos, which will serve as the country’s first shore-based anti-ship missile system, makes concrete the credible defense posture calls of the Marcos administration’s national security policy.
“With this acquisition, we can no longer be considered the weakest Armed Forces in the region. We have now become a middle power in the region,” he added.
This weapon platform is expected to address the country’s military’s weaknesses and vulnerability in sea control, anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD), and coastal and island defense operations.
Former DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BrahMos Aerospace director general Atul Dinkar Rane signed the contract worth PHP18.9 billion in a virtual ceremony at defense headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City in January 2022. (PNA)