Philippines to acquire missile system from India for $375 million

The Philippines’ defense secretary for Southeast Asia said the Philippines has struck a deal to buy an anti-ship missile system from India for nearly $375 million to bolster its navy.

The Philippines has entered the final stages of a five-year, $5.85 billion project to modernize its outdated military equipment that includes World War II warships and helicopters the United States used in the Vietnam War.

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Under the agreement negotiated with the Government of India, Brahmos Aerospace Pvt will deliver three batteries, train operators and maintenance, and provide logistical support, Defense Minister Delphine Lorenzana said in a Facebook post late Friday.

It was envisioned in 2017 but has experienced budget allocation delays and due to COVID-19.

The new anti-ship regime aims to deter foreign ships from encroaching on the country’s 200 nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

An exclusive economic zone, as set forth in the 1982 United Nations Convention, is an area of ​​the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights to use the area for exploration and offshore resources, including the production of energy from water and wind.

In 2018, the Philippines purchased the Israeli-made Spike ER missiles, the first ship-borne missile systems for naval deterrence.

Despite friendly relations between China and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, Beijing has remained adamant about claiming large parts of the South China Sea, a conduit for goods worth more than $3.4 trillion annually.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam also made competing claims. However, a 2016 international arbitration ruling said the Chinese allegations had no legal basis.

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