PMC activates a battalion to operate the BrahMos missile system

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(Photo courtesy of Philippine Marine Corps)

MANILA – The country’s archipelagic coastal defense capabilities got off to a good start with the recent activation of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Land Based Anti-Ship Missile Battalion (SBASM).

“The activation of the (provisional) SBASM will certainly add to the heartbeat and give the final blow to our archipelagic coastal defense capability,” PMC Commander Maj. Gen. Nestor Herico said Thursday.

The SBASM battalion which was activated on April 3, the first of the PMC, will operate one of the best anti-ship missile systems on the planet that can quickly detect, track, hunt and destroy targets.

The PMC is expected to receive a shore battery from Indian defense company BrahMos Aerospace Pvt next year. Ltd., New Delhi (BAPL).

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

An SBMS (Shore Based Missile System) is an important part of any reliable coastal defense system in the pursuit of maritime security while in a defensive posture.

It addresses the weaknesses and vulnerability of the country’s military in sea control, anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) and coastal and island defense operations, in line with the strategy of active defense of the PN archipelago and the coastal defense concept of the PMC archipelago.

Herico also enlisted the SBASM battalion commander, Lt. Col. Miguel P. Perez, to train the Marines under his command and forge the latest cutting-edge AFP technology.

“You will strike the first hammer blow in forging the ‘new edge’ of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in terms of territorial defence,” Herico added.

Last January, the Ministry of National Defense (DND) officially signed the contract for the procurement of Indian-made BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BrahMos Aerospace Managing Director Atul Dinkar Rane signed the contract worth PHP 18.9 billion during a virtual ceremony at DND Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Three BrahMos cruise missile batteries will be acquired by the country under this contract. Lorenzana also said the BrahMos cruise missiles will significantly boost the firepower of the PN, especially the Philippine Marine Corps Coastal Defense Regiment.

He added that the BrahMos cruise missile system will provide counterattack capabilities in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

“As the fastest supersonic cruise missiles in the world, the BrahMos missiles will deter any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the Western Philippine Sea,” Lorenzana said.

The BrahMos cruise missile can be launched from ship, aircraft, submarine or land and has a top speed of approximately Mach 2.8 (approximately 3,400 km per hour ) and is capable of carrying warheads weighing 200 to 300 kilograms. (NAP)

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