Territorial conflicts in South China Sea over the past decade have fuelled the military expenditure of the Philippines. Against this backdrop, the Philippines government has signed a deal with BrahMos Aerospace Ltd worth US$375 million to buy BrahMos cruise missiles and induct the category in its defence arsenal. This is expected to solidify the Indian domestic aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Chandan Kumar Nayak, Aerospace, Defence and Security Analyst at GlobalData, said: “According to Global Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Market to 2031 estimates, India is expected to earn about US$2.7 billion from BrahMos cruise missile export contracts which is projected to take place during 2021-2031. Besides strengthening India’s domestic aerospace, this contract will also help India achieve its vision of exporting its defence equipment to other countries.

Additionally, defence organisations across the countries such as United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand have shown interest on procuring the BrahMos missile systems from India.

“India is relatively a minor defence exporter globally, the country had still managed to export defence equipment with a cumulative value of US$315 million over the period 2016-2020,” Nayak said. “Additionally, the Indian suppliers will be benefited from the Philippines BrahMos missile deal in the global missile market, as it will bring potential contract opportunities for Indian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and system manufacturers.”

The Philippines’ decision to procure BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile from India will not only fortify the coastal defence of the archipelago but also drive the other ASEAN countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to obtain these missiles to build a minimum credible defence for themselves.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Philippines Defense Market – Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2026’, reveals that the Philippines acquisition budget is set to rise and record a CAGR of 11.29 percent. The procurement plan, which got delayed in 2021 due to budgetary constraints and disruption caused by COVID-19, finally concludes with the Philippines’ Navy signing the deal with India under the Horizon II program in 2022.

Akash Pratim Debbarma, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, said “The Horizon II program, which is supposed to conclude in 2022 with a budget allocated around US$5 billion, is not likely to end anytime soon. As far as the modernisation program is concerned, the acquisition of BrahMos anti-ship missiles would be part of the accelerated program to purchase which fits well into the focus of the Horizon II program.”

The medium ranged supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos is currently the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile which can hit the targets with great accuracy.

“Besides enhancing its defence security level, Philippines’ decision of purchasing the BrahMos missiles along with the acquisition of Pohang Class Corvettes is also driven by an understanding of the other complex challenges unique only to its geographical location,” Debbarma said.

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