Indias BrahMos Aerospace and the Philippines are set to sign a deal for the Philippine Marines to acquire three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile in a deal worth almost $375 million, people familiar with the matter said.
The development will be a major boost for Indias efforts to become defence exporter and show the way for more South-Eastern nations to boost their defence production capabilities.
The deal is speculated to be confirmed at an event to be held at the Philippines Department of National defense in Quezon City.
The defence deal may get the goat of neighbours China, whose expansionist behavior in the disputed South China Sea has strained its relationship with the Philippines.
The Philippine Marines intend to use the BrahMos system as a shore-based anti-ship missile, and the South China Sea is likely to be the area of deployment.
The deal includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers and an integrated logistics support (ILS) package.
The notice of award signed by Philippines Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana on December 31, 2021 put the value of the BrahMos deal at $374.962 million. Last month, the Philippines government aearmarked 2.8 billion pesos ($55.5 million) for initial funding.
Philippine Navy personnel had earlier visited the BrahMos Aerospace production facility in Hyderabad in December 2021 as part of the deal.
The BrahMos deal is being seen as a game changer as Indias defence exports so far have been ancillary items items such as avionics, coastal surveillance systems, spares for radars, personal protective items, and offshore patrol vessels.
The deal with the Philippines could open the door for further sales of the BrahMos which has a range of 290 km and can carry a 200-kg warhead to other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia which have reportedly shown interest in the advanced missile system over the years.