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BrahMos Hailed as Ultimate Defensive System for Philippines: Experts

© AP Photo / MANISH SWARUPBrahmos missile
Brahmos missile  - Sputnik India, 1920, 04.05.2024
After receiving the BrahMos missiles for its Marines, Manila is on its way to acquiring the widely acclaimed rocket for its territorial Army.
Days after India delivered its maiden order of the supersonic BrahMos missiles to the Philippines, the buzz over a follow-on deal for the archipelago nation's Army has intensified with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) working overtime to secure the nod for a land-based variant of the projectiles.

As part of its first order, India delivered the ship-based variant of the BrahMos to the Philippines which would be used by the country's Marines. On the other hand, the Philippines Army is said to be interested in acquiring the BrahMos for coastal defense purposes.

In November last year, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. stated that the Marines would get the BrahMos missiles first followed by the Army.
"The Marines will be getting the first deliveries of the BrahMos, they will be getting three batteries. It will also be used for coastal defense, and be used to cover gaps in coverage. The Marines will be covering this sector and the Army another," Brawner Jr. said.

Manila's Dispute in the South China Sea

Military watchers in Manila have often viewed the BrahMos as a deterrence against its rivalries in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

Late last month, the Chinese Coast Guard and the Philippine ships were involved in a confrontation near Scarborough Shoal which is currently under Beijing's control but is claimed by Manila.

In such a scenario, Miguel Miranda, who is a Manila-based defense commentator and the publisher of the military website, 21st Century Asian Arms Race, underlined that in the absence of a strong maritime force and a powerful air defense network, the Brahmos was the ultimate weapon for the Philippines.
"If we consider the Philippines being an archipelago and having a 400 km EEZ around it that must be protected versus China the BrahMos is the ultimate defensive system in the absence of a powerful Navy and an Air Force," Miranda told Sputnik India on Friday.

The Changing Military Posture of Philippine Forces

According to him, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are still pivoting from an internal security focus to a long-term posture for territorial defense.

Miranda mentioned that the Philippine Air Force and Navy were still in the middle of retooling and upgrading their inventories for this task.
"In the meantime, the BrahMos represents an investment and choice in a unique defensive system that isn't available from the AFP's other allies: Brazil, Israel, South Korea, Turkiye, Japan, and even the United States," he added.
Meanwhile, Rear Admiral (Retd) Jose Renan Suarez, who spent over three decades in the Philippine Navy reckons that Manila's future BrahMos procurements should remain under one unit - the Marines.

"Ground-Based Missile Systems should just be under one unit and since the Marines already have acquired the lead items, it should be given charge of subsequent procurements," the Philippine Navy veteran said in an interaction with Sputnik India.

"Various versions of the Brahmos missiles can be mounted/carried on different platforms so they can be distributed accordingly," he concluded.
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