The government of the Philippines has reportedly allocated funds for the purchase of the BrahMos cruise missile system.
Recently, the Philippine Department of Budget Management issued two special release orders from an allotment worth a combined $ 55.5 million (PHP2.8 billion) to meet the initial funding needs of a ” project to acquire a land-based anti-ship missile system ”.
The allocation is for the BrahMos missile system, people familiar with the development told the Hindustan Times.
A team from the Philippine Navy also visited the BrahMos Aerospace production unit in Hyderabad last month as part of the procurement process, the publication added.
If the acquisition continues, the Philippines will become the first foreign customer to procure the weapons system that was jointly developed by Russia and India.
Currently, the Philippine Armed Forces are carrying out a revised modernization program.
As part of this program, the Philippine Navy signed a pact with the South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on December 28 for two corvettes.
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The country intends to sign contracts for 36 Black Hawk helicopters and six offshore patrol boats this year.
The Philippine Department of Budget Management has also assigned the initial funding requirements for the purchase of fast boats for the navy.
In March last year, the Philippines and India reached an “implementation agreement” to support government-to-government agreements on military materiel and equipment, including the BrahMos missile.
BrahMos, a mid-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile, can be launched from ships, submarines, airplanes or land platforms.
The Philippines chose BrahMos after conducting extensive testing and negotiations focusing on the cost of the system.
Currently, India and Russia are working together to extend the reach of the BrahMos and start exporting the missile to third countries.
In recent years, India has been in talks with many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, for the export of land and sea versions of the BrahMos.