After BrahMos, Philippines buying choppers from India

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New Delhi, July 18: After signing the BrahMos cruise missile deal with India, the Philippines is now procuring a batch of advanced light helicopters from India to enhance its combat capability. The Philippines signed a deal worth over $374 million with India earlier this year to buy supersonic missiles.

This deal is historic for India in terms of defense exports because it is the largest and first foreign deal.

India and the Philippines were in talks for years on the deal for the BrahMos missile, but the two countries signed a major defense pact on March 3. The Philippines had allocated a separate budget of Rs 414 crore to buy supersonic missiles from India.

The Philippines has accepted Indian BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd’s offer of US $374.9 million to supply shore-based Anti-Ship Missile System acquisition projects for its Navy. Three batteries of BrahMos, the world’s deadliest cruise missile manufactured in India, have been purchased. BrahMos Aerospace produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.

After completing the deal, the Philippines is now focusing on modernizing its military to meet security challenges as well as decades of territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. The Philippines is procuring a batch of advanced light helicopters from India to enhance its combat capability. It is learned that both parties are in talks on the proposed acquisition. The indigenously developed ALH helicopter is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class and is considered to be an effective platform for various military operations.

The Philippines is a major strategic partner of India in the Southeast Asian region. Bilateral defense and security ties, especially in the maritime domain, have gained momentum over the past few years. The Philippines is also a major member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with which India’s ties have expanded significantly over the past decade. Tejas aircraft have already emerged as the top choice for Malaysia, as Malaysia is also looking to replace its fleet of old fighter jets. Malaysia has already loosened its grip on Indian aircraft despite stiff competition from China’s JF-17 jets, South Korea’s FA-50, and Russia’s MiG-35, as well as the Yak-130.