Philippines agrees to buy anti-ship missile system from India
According to media sources, the Philippine Defence Minister said on Friday that he had made the decision to improve his security in view of the growing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
When President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, launched a program to provide modern weapons to the military in 2012, the Philippine military was equipped with some of the worst weapons in Asia.
Philippine Secretary of Defence Delphine Lorenzana elaborated on the approximately 375 million contract awarded to BrahMos Aerospace for the supply of anti-ship missile systems to the Navy.
A joint venture between BrahMos India and Russia has developed a cruise missile that the Indian Ministry of Defence claims is the fastest cruise missile in the world.
The Philippines will be the first country to buy this cruise missile. On the other hand, the Indian Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the matter.
The agreement includes training for three batteries, operators and maintainers, as well as logistical support.
President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to acquire a missile system for the Philippine military under a program called “Second Horizon”, a state-of-the-art weapons supply.
“It’s part of our regional defence,” said Col. Ramon Zagala, a spokesman for the Philippine Armed Forces.
Tensions in the South China Sea escalated last year, with the Philippines and China blaming each other for territorial violations.
China claims almost all of the waterways through which trillions of dollars are traded annually, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims against China.
Beijing has ignored a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that its (China’s) historic claim is baseless.