21 Philippine Marines Complete BrahMos Missile Training In India Amidst Filipino-Chinese Tensions
On Friday, February 17, the Indian Navy trained 21 Filipino marines on the operating and maintenance procedure of BrahMos missiles. This comes at a time when tensions between the Philippines and China have increased over some fresh encroachments.
The anti-ship supersonic cruise missile BrahMos has been recently purchased by the Philippines in a whopping $375 million agreement signed by the two countries, the first time such an export deal for BrahMos has been made. The Philippines acquired the missiles to constrain China in the South China Sea.
For this, a training session was held between January 23 to February 11. After the Philippines formed the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile (SBASM) group in April last year, their personnel were scheduled to arrive in July-August for training, but it finally happened this year.
Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, the Chief Of Naval Staff, awarded the personnel interim missile pins and badges at the valedictory ceremony’s end of the training program.
They can soon use this missile after getting their first BrahMos batteries this year. The Philippines will be the first country to use the BrahMos. The battery will have 2-3 missile tubes and 3 autonomous mobile launchers enabled by tracking systems. It’s one of the few missiles with a speed of Mach 2.8.
Owing to its low radar signature and high speed, it’s quite difficult to detect, and it can be launched from land, aircraft, ship and submarines alike. It is equipped to carry 200-300 kg weighing warheads.
The Philippines are foreseeing it as a measure to increase their maritime security as this missile will be able to support the Navy and the Coast Guard in their patrolling activities along the borders where frequent incidents of Chinese violations happen.
Recently, the Chinese Coast Guard flashed a military-grade laser at a Filipino Coast Guard Crew ship on its way to resupply a naval vessel in the South China Sea. The deployment of the BrahMos is likely to make China more jittery, making such acts of aggression more frequent.