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India delivers 1st batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to Philippines

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NEW DELHI : India on Friday delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and launchers to the Philippines, two years after the two countries signed a deal worth almost $375 million to equip the Philippine Marines with three batteries of the missiles, officials aware of the matter said.

India flew the consignment to the south-east Asian country in an IAF C-17 transport aircraft, the officials said. The January 2022 deal was seen as a shot in the arm for New Delhi’s efforts to emerge as an exporter of major defence hardware.

This is the first export order for the BrahMos missile developed by India and Russia. The deliveries to the Philippines were held up as the two nations hadn’t signed a non-disclosure agreement, it is learnt.

India has set a defence export target of Rs.35,000 crore by 2024-25.

India’s defence exports grew 32.5% last fiscal and crossed the Rs. 21,000-crore mark for the first time as the country remains focussed on boosting the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as well as military exports, the defence ministry said on April 1.

India has been in talks with Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and a few other nations that have shown interest in the system.

The BrahMos missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. According to sources, the missile—a collaboration between India and Russia—is currently undergoing a process where 83 percent of its components are being indigenized.

On January 11, 2022, India successfully test-fired the extended-range sea-to-sea variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

The missile was test-fired from the Indian Navy’s newly commissioned INS Visakhapatnam on the Western seaboard.

The extended-range version of BrahMos was developed after India’s full membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which removed caps on the range of the cruise missile. The plan has been to initially extend the range of attack to 450 km.

The country is currently exporting military hardware to around 85 countries, with around 100 local firms involved. It includes missiles, artillery guns, rockets, armoured vehicles, offshore patrol vessels, personal protective gear, a variety of radars, surveillance systems and ammunition.

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