A country in Southeast Asia equips its Marine Corps with supersonic cruise missiles, it sounds odd. However, the Philippine Navy displays its own characteristics in the elements of the Marine Corps, namely with the completeness of Brahmos LACM (Land Attack Cruise Missile) missiles or anti-ship missiles for coastal defense functions. There is the latest news that the Filipino personnel crewing Brahmos have completed the training phase in India.
A press release from the Philippine Marine Corps, as reported by Navalnews.com (9/2/2023), said that 21 Philippine Navy personnel were awarded the insignia and missile pin from the Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, in a farewell ceremony for Coastal Anti Defense Operator Training -Brahmos Anti Ship Missile System.
The training is an important package included in the Brahmos missile procurement contract signed by the Philippines and India in 2022. The acquisition is seen as an enhancement of the Philippine Navy’s ability to defend the country’s maritime borders, particularly from Chinese military threats.
Initially, the Philippines will acquire two Brahmos batteries (two companies) consisting of – one battery with three launch vehicles, which when further deepened, each launcher consists of three Brahmos missile tubes. The budget disbursed for the acquisition of the two Brahmos batteries is said to be 300 billion pesos.
However, recently the Minister of Defense of the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, has corrected, that what the Philippines will buy is only one Brahmos battery. The procurement correction was reportedly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the Philippine government used funds that were previously for the procurement of defense equipment, while it was used for handling the pandemic.
Brahmos (Brahmaputra Moskva) is another variant of the SS-N-26 Yakhont missile, a missile made by Brahmos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
The Brahmos LACM has a displacement of 3 tonnes and can be loaded with a 200 kg warhead. This missile with a speed of Mach 3 can reach targets beyond the horizon with a distance of 500 km. As a cruise missile, Brahmos can fly sea skimming 3-4 meters above sea level