The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) has yet to determine where to deploy the newly acquired Indian-made BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles that were procured as part of the revised AFP modernization program.

3rd Marine Brigade (3rd MBde) commander Brig. Gen. Jimmy Larida said Monday during the MAREX22 that while the acquisition process is still ongoing, it is the PMC that will decide whether or not to provide one for Palawan.

“For now, the acquisition process is still ongoing, I think nakaraan ay signing ng contract, but kung saan ito ilagay at paano i-utilize ay still being conceptualized by the Philippine Marine Corps,” Larida said.

According to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Department of National Defense (DND) and BrahMos Aerospace director-general Atul Dinkar Rane signed the contract worth P18.9 billion.

The conceptualization of the Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missiles for the Philippine Navy started in 2017 after President Rodrigo Duterte gave his approval for its inclusion in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020.

“We are glad that in 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte finally approved its inclusion in Horizon 2 priority projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Program,” defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

The three missile batteries will also be acquired by the Philippines under the contract, with delivery expected to begin this year.

Under the contract are three batteries of the missiles, training for operators, and the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.

A missile battery consists of three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each, with tracking systems. It also provides counter-attack capabilities within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone.

Lorenzana said he believes the acquisition will enhance the capability of the country, particularly the PMC’s Coast Defense Regiment.

“As the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missiles, the BrahMos missiles will provide deterrence against any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the West Philippine Sea,” Lorenzana said.

“Rest assured that the government under the Duterte Administration, up until the end of the President’s term, will support your vision of becoming a modern and multi-capable Navy that is able to defend our territory, protect our seas, and secure our maritime nation’s future,” he added.