Philippines to acquire missile system from India for $375 mln

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana answers questions during an interview with Reuters at the military headquarters of Camp Aquinaldo in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, Feb. 9, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

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MANILA, Jan. 15 (Reuters) – The Philippines has signed a deal to purchase India’s shore-based anti-ship missile system for nearly $375 million to bolster its navy, the Southeast Asian country’s defense minister said.

The Philippines is in the final stages of a five-year 300 billion pesos ($5.85 billion) project to modernize its military’s aging hardware, including World War II warships and helicopters used by the United States in the war in vietnam.

Under the deal negotiated with the government of India, Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd will provide three batteries, train operators and maintainers and logistics support, Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said in a Facebook post late Friday.

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It was conceptualized in 2017 but faced delays in budget allocation and as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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

In 2018, the Philippines purchased Israeli-made Spike ER missiles, the first-ever maritime deterrent missile systems.

Despite friendlier ties between China and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, Beijing has remained adamant in claiming large swaths of the South China Sea, a conduit for goods worth more than $3.4 trillion a year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have also submitted competing claims.

However, a 2016 international arbitration ruling said the Chinese claims had no legal basis.

($1 = 51.31 Philippine Pesos)

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Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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