India sends the first batch of BrahMos to the Philippines

  • India has delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, marking a key milestone in bilateral defence cooperation.

India-Philippines Brahmos Deal

  • In January 2022, the Philippines signed a $375-million agreement with India for three batteries of the shore-based, anti-ship variant of the BrahMos missile, becoming the first export customer for the joint venture between India and Russia.
  • Several countries, including Indonesia and Thailand, have expressed interest in purchasing BrahMos systems, and conversations are now underway. 

About BrahMos Missiles


  • The DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya formed a joint venture to develop BrahMos missiles.
  • The term BrahMos is derived from two rivers: the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • The first successful test in 2001 was carried out using a specially built land-based launcher.


  • BrahMos is a medium-range, ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile.
  • Launched from a submarine, ship, aeroplane, or land.
  • This is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.
  • The rocket has two stages: a solid fuel booster and a liquid-fueled ramjet.


  • Ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas aircraft-launched variants (BrahMos A) may carry 300 kg warheads. 

Variants & Range

  • The missile travels at speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.0 and is being improved to Mach 5.0.
  • A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also being developed, with a Mach 7-8 speed to improve airborne quick attack capability.
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime initially limited the BrahMos missile’s range to 290km, but after India joined the regime in June 2016, the range was increased to 450km.
  • Ongoing efforts aim to extend the missile’s range beyond 600 km, increasing its operational reach and efficacy in a variety of scenarios. 

Strategic Implications of the Move

  • This breakthrough comes amid rising tensions in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China, emphasising the importance of improving defensive preparedness.
  • The procurement of BrahMos missiles under Horizon 2 of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Programme will improve the Philippine armed forces’ defensive capabilities. 

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