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The Philippines’ Ambassador to India, Josel Francisco Ignacio, emphasized on Monday that the BrahMos missiles provide a “credible defense” capability for the Southeast Asian nation. This development, he noted, signifies India’s “rising” prowess in the defense sector.

Speaking at an event organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Ignacio highlighted the evolving dynamics between India and the Philippines. “India and the Philippines stand at the cusp of a new phase of its relations, with more engagement. We are prying open new frontiers of cooperation including defense, space, and financial technology,” he stated.

The bilateral relations received a significant boost in January 2022 when Manila and New Delhi signed a $374.96 million deal for the export of the shore-based variant of the BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile. This missile, with a range of approximately 290 kilometers, is expected to enhance the Philippines’ coastal defense capabilities significantly.

The delivery of the BrahMos launch systems and missiles to the Philippines commenced in April 2023, marking a pivotal step in the defense collaboration between the two nations. This strategic move not only fortifies the Philippines’ defense mechanisms but also underscores India’s growing role as a key player in the global defense market.

For the Philippines, the acquisition of BrahMos missiles is a strategic move to enhance its maritime security, particularly in the South China Sea region. Given the geopolitical tensions in this area, a credible defense system like BrahMos is crucial for maintaining sovereignty and securing national interests.

The BrahMos missile system, known for its speed, precision, and versatility, is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. The deployment of these missiles in the Philippines is a testament to their trust in India’s technological advancements and defense capabilities.