PH agrees to buy anti-ship missile system from India for nearly $375M

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15)— The Philippines has agreed to procure a shore-based anti-ship missile system from India in a bid to further beef up its naval defense capabilities.

In a social media post on Friday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that he has signed the Notice of Award for the acquisition project with Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd worth $374,962,800.

Negotiated with the Indian government, the deal includes the delivery of three batteries, training for operators and maintainers, as well as the necessary Integrated Logistics Support package, according to Lorenzana.

“The Coastal Defense Regiment of the Philippine Marines will be the primary employer of this modern strategic defense capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” he said.

No further details were provided.

The deal is one of the latest developments in the Philippine military’s 15-year modernization program, which aims to strengthen all branches of the AFP — the Air Force, Navy, and Army.

The program — which has a multi-billion funding from the government — is divided into three horizons and is now in the second phase, which runs from 2018 to 2022.

Lorenzana said the plan to purchase the missile system was floated as early as 2017.

“The Office of the President approved its inclusion in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020,” he disclosed.