New Delhi, Jan 28 (EFE).- India Friday signed a contract to supply a shore-based anti-ship supersonic cruise missile system to the Philippines for nearly $375 million to ramp up the naval power of the archipelago amid a territorial dispute with China.
“BrahMos Aerospace signed a contract with the Department of National Defence of the Philippines for supply of shore based anti-ship missile system to Philippines,” the Indian defense ministry said in a statement.
The BrahMos Aerospace is an Indo-Russian multinational aerospace and defense corporation for cruise missiles.
Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Atul Dinkar Rane, director-general of BrahMos Aerospace, signed the contract in a virtual ceremony.
“The contract is an important step forward for government of India’s policy of promoting responsible defense exports,” the ministry said.
The Indian defense ministry did not reveal how much the contract is worth.
But Lorenzana on Dec.31 confirmed in a Facebook post that the Philippines would acquire the missile system worth almost $375 million.
It is the first major sale of home-grown defense hardware for India, one of the largest importers of weapon systems that seeks to establish itself as an exporter of arms.
Sameer Patil, an analyst at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), told EFE that it was a booster for the Indian defense sector that could attract new clients.
“It is the first export agreement from India’s side of a locally produced defense equipment, and India has been trying to expand its domestic defense capabilities and also expand its exports,” Patil told EFE.
He pointed out the importance of the sale of missiles to the Philippines, which is entangled in a territorial dispute with China over the sovereignty of the South China Sea.
“It suits India to strengthen one of the adversaries of China,” he said.
India and China were at the brink of war in 2020 after a series of clashes on the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between the two neighbors in the regions where they have territorial disputes. EFE