1. India’s delivery of the fourth BrahMos missile battery to the Philippines bolsters defence exports.
2. Tensions in the South China Sea add urgency to the strategic delivery.
3. The BrahMos deal reflects India’s growing role in global defence cooperation.

New Delhi, April 23: India is poised to deliver the fourth battery of land-based BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, marking a significant boost to defence exports.

The delivery comes amidst escalating tensions in the South China Sea due to Chinese assertiveness.

Under a USD 375 million deal signed in 2022, three batteries of BrahMos missiles have already been transferred to the Philippines, with the fourth one en route to Manila.

Each battery consists of four launchers, each carrying three missiles with a range of 290 km.

The missiles are mounted on mobile platforms to enhance survivability, and their supersonic speed makes them difficult to intercept by land or ship-based Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) systems.

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The BrahMos deal with the Philippines has propelled India’s defence exports to ₹21083 crores in the fiscal year 2023-2024, marking a remarkable 32.5 per cent year-on-year growth. With BrahMos’s proven track record, India is poised to secure more orders for these supersonic missiles shortly.

In addition to missile exports, the Narendra Modi government is exploring collaboration with the French Naval Group to manufacture Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarines in Mumbai.

The aim is to supply these submarines to third countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan’s visit to France includes discussions with the Naval Group and the French government to explore opportunities for joint production of high-tech conventional and non-conventional submarines in India under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

The visit may include visits to French submarine bases in Brest and Toulouse to deepen bilateral defence cooperation.

While major powers like the P-5 use nuclear-powered conventionally armed attack submarines (SSN) for deterrence and access denial, India is evaluating various options.

These options include manufacturing SSNs for long-term maritime security or exploring alternatives like lithium battery technology, air-independent propulsion, conventional diesel-electric submarines, and underwater armed drones. Decisions on these proposals are expected to materialize during the tenure of Modi 3.0.