Brahmos cruise missiles arrive in Manila
Screengrabs show the Made-in-India BrahMos cruise missile (above), a high-precision cruist missile, and (below) during the delivery of the first batch aboard a cargo aircraft in Manila on Friday. Image Credit: Screengrabs

Manila: India has recently delivered the first batch of its supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines. An Indian Air Force C 17 Globemaster III aircraft landed alongside an Ilyushin C72 cargo plane loaded with the first batch of BrahMos missiles on Friday.

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It will be dispatched under a $375-million contract inked in 2022 and marks a key military export milestone, as India delivered the first batch of BrahMos cruise attack missiles to another country.

The Philippine Navy plans to implement the BrahMos cruise missile system for its Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System (SBASMS).


The Philippines has ordered three BrahMos batteries with supersonic cruise speed of Mach 2.8, nearly 3 times the speed of sound – seen as a “game changer”. After landing in the Philippines, the Indian team members were seen distributiing sweets to their Filipino counterparts.

The delivery of the Indian-made missile system would bring the Philippines' military capability to the “supersonic” missile era, says a Manila-based defence expert.

NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya told the Philippine News Agency that the weapon system would greatly enhance to national security.

“For the first time in our history, the Philippines will have three batteries of supersonic cruise missiles that have a speed of (Mach 2.8) or almost 3x (times) the speed of sound," Malaya said.

He also called the BrahMos cruise missile system acquisition a “landmark development in our modernisation programme” that would significantly increase the capacity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Marine Corps in addressing threats to the country's territorial integrity.

Malaya said that the BrahMos, the country's first shore-based anti-ship missile system, bolsters calls of the Marcos administration's national security policy for a credible defence posture.

"With this acquisition, we can no longer be considered the weakest Armed Forces in the region. We have now become a middle power in the region," he added.

The weapon platform is expected to enhance the Philippine military’s coastal and island defence operations, specically in sea control, anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD), and coastal defence operations.

The 18.9-billion-peso contract was signed in a virtual ceremony at Philippine defence headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Manila in January 2022.

In 2023, Philippine Navy personnel were awarded their interim missile badges and pins by the Indian Navy Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, after completing their training in India as operators of the BrahMos.

In March, both the Philippines and India further pledged to enhance their defence cooperation during a visit led by Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The BrahMos missile was developed from Russia's NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) P-800 Oniks cruise missile family through a joint venture between NPOM and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), known as BrahMos Aerospace.