New Delhi: Philippines has expressed interest in buying several defence platforms including the Brahmos missile, said Indian ambassador to the Phillipines Jaideep Majumdar.
“There are discussions going on a range of weapons systems between India and the Phillipines. Once travel becomes possible, the joint committee that looks at defence logistics will meet and discuss these things,” Majumdar said on May 18.
The Philippines and India have had price negotiation talks for the BrahMos cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia, with the aim of concluding a deal in 2020, sources in the know said.
The Phillipines is one among several countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam that has shown an interest in purchasing the land and sea-based versions of the supersonic cruise missile.
The cost of the system was a key factor in Manila’s decision to equip the Philippines Army’s first Land Based Missile System Battery, which was raised and activated in October last year.
Though India has offered a $100 million line of credit to the Philippines for defence purchases, Manila is exploring the option of acquiring the BrahMos system with its own funds to be allocated in the next budget.
In recent years, the Philippines has concluded several deals with India for personal protective items or bulletproof gear and armour plating for military vehicles. An Indian firm has also bid for a recent Philippines tender for bulletproof gear.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Philippines in 2017, India and the Phillippines had signed an MoU on defence industry and logistics cooperation to provide a framework for strengthening cooperation and coordination in logistics support and services, and in the development, production and procurement of defence hardware.
India is also exploring the possibility of selling the BrahMos to Indonesia, and a team from the Indo-Russian joint venture that makes the system visited a state-run shipyard to assess the fitting of the missile on Indonesian warships.
India has also held talks with Vietnam for the sale of the BrahMos, which was developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture set up in 1998. The Indian Navy inducted the missile on its frontline warships in 2005 and the army began inducting the BrahMos from 2007 after a series of tests.