India joined the elite club of missile exporters on Friday after the Philippines signed a $374.96 million (Rs 2,770 crore) deal with it for procuring BrahMos shore-based anti-ship variant supersonic cruise missiles.
The Philippines signed the pact with BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd for the supply of three batteries of 290-km-range BrahMos missile system for its naval force.
The country is ramping up its naval prowess to counter China's belligerent behaviour in the South China Sea. The Philippines has territorial disputes with Beijing in the region as China claims sovereignty over the sea that has a huge source of hydrocarbons.
BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture between India's DRDO and Russia's NPOM.
The first-ever contract to export BrahMos missiles, which India has developed jointly with Russia, will pave the way for more such deals.
Earlier this month, BrahMos Aerospace had sent the proposal to the Philippines government which, after deliberations, was accepted by the latter.
The Philippines Department of National Defence had informed BrahMos Aerospace about the decision through a Notice of Award. Other Southeast Asian countries that have evinced interest in BrahMos supersonic missile system include Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The shore-based anti-ship system of BrahMos is a deadly conventional weapon that flies almost three times the speed of sound.
Sources in the government stated that the deliberations with Thailand are in the preliminary stage, and with Vietnam, at an advanced stage. As for Indonesia, its naval team had visited India to discuss if missiles could be fitted on Indonesian warships.
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