Negotiations with the Philippines are in the final stages for the sale of the Indo-Russian BrahMos Missile. This sale is through government to government route and will be the first ever to an ASEAN nation. The two countries have been in discussions for the sale of the supersonic cruise missile for years, as Philippines has been making efforts to ramp up its naval strength in the South China Sea, even as China continues its bullying tactics. The formal contract is expected to be sealed soon.
The first time the announcement of possible export of the supersonic cruise missile to the Philippines was made by the Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin in 2020. He had told the media that the first export of the BrahMos will be to the Philippines.
In March of 2021, Financial Express Online was the first to report about a critical defence pact being inked between the two countries related to the first ever export of the missile and other military platforms and weapons. An ‘Implementing Arrangement’ basically a government to government pact was signed by the two countries at the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Other ASEAN nations who have reached out to India seeking more details about the missile and export possibility include: Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Also in discussions are countries from the Middle East (UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia); South America (Brazil, Argentina and Chile) & Eastern Europe (Bulgaria) and South Africa, Egypt, South Korea.
In an exclusive interaction Atul Dinkar Rane DG BrahMos DRDO& CEO & MD BrahMos, shared more about the upcoming expected deal with Philippines and much more about the BrahMos with Huma Siddiqui.
Following are excerpts:
By when do you think the deal for BrahMos will be signed with the Philippines?
India and the Philippines have signed an “Implementing Arrangement” for “procurement of defense material and equipment procurement”. This agreement has laid the groundwork for BrahMos cruise missile, through the government-to-government route. We are in an advanced stage of discussions and if something concrete emerges both the Governments will make an announcement. Export of defence products is always a strategic decision involving Governments.
Which version will be exported? And why?
The BrahMos Missile is a universal missile capable of operation from various platforms be it launch from shore / land, ship or air. The universal precision strike missile has already been operationalised in all three Services of the Indian Armed Forces. Many countries have expressed their interest in the Missile System. The company will receive permission from the Government for export of any of the variants on a case to case basis.
Which are the countries where you have received requests from? And which is the preferred version they are seeking?
There are a number of countries across continents that have evinced interest in acquiring BRAHMOS for their military and we have been having discussions with them. Following the initiative of the Prime Minister for export of Defence equipment from India and the support we are getting from the Government of India we hope BrahMos will soon get some export orders. It won’t be prudent to divulge all these details at this moment. As said earlier, BrahMos is ready for export. We at BrahMos Aerospace are fully prepared and committed to fulfill all export related demands as and when they arise.
In South America, Brazil and Chile have been seeking details about BrahMos – any updates on that?
Yes, we have been discussing (BrahMos) exports with some of the Latin American countries and hope to move further in this direction. It is too early to make any firm statement.
In India, any new tests being worked on, increasing the range etc?
For BrahMos to remainthe world’s best tactical weapon, the design has continued to evolve in terms of technological advancements. It has maintained its supremacy by incorporating several new advancements in terms of power, precision, manoeuvrability etc. Of late, we have successfully tested more advanced variants of the weapon which will further strengthen the Indian Armed Forces.
When do you plan to put it on board the French fighter jet Rafale for testing?
Our top-most priority is to evolve the current weapon system as a new generation of BrahMos. DRDO along with Brahmos Aerospace and our Russian partners will work on a design of a next generation variant of the missile which would be deployable by the Indian Defence Forces. We are looking forward to a smaller and lighter missile having improved capabilities including a design which could allow deployment in more numbers on a wider range of modern military platforms with pin-point accuracy and performance. The design will need to be proved through extensive testing following which production should commence. We are in discussion with the Indian Air Force regarding the platforms on which our weapon system would be integrated.
Source : https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/for-brahmos-to-remain-worlds-best-tactical-weapon-the-design-has-continued-to-evolve-atul-dinkar-rane-dg-brahmos-drdo-ceo-md-brahmos/2405069/