India’s Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be embarking upon a three-day trip to the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam later this month. While Rajnath will be out to celebrate the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between the two nations, the main agenda of his travel will be to expedite the deal to sell the sophisticated piece of Indo-Russian weaponry viz. ‘BrahMos’.
Reportedly, to boost the country’s defence export market and gain an edge over China, New Delhi is actively looking to sell the cruise missile to Beijing’s adversaries. Both Vietnam and the Philippines have been troubled sick by Beijing’s nuisance in the region and thus want to shore up their defences to keep the paper dragon at bay.
The Philippines has released funding for the missiles
In a related attempt, the Philippines’ department of budget management recently made two special allotment release orders with a combined worth of $55.5m (PHP2.8bn) to meet initial funding requirements for a ‘Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project’.
According to local publications, A team from the Philippine Navy also visited BrahMos Aerospace’s production unit in Hyderabad last month as part of the procurement procedure.
BrahMos — a weapon, truly a class apart
While most of the Chinese weaponry are cheap rip-offs of Russian weapons built through reverse-engineering, India and Russia have jointly developed the state-of-the-art supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles.
The one-of-a-kind missiles have generated a lot of interest from various countries mainly due to the fact that the short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile can be launched from aircraft, land, submarines or ships. The missile fires at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound. It has a range of approximately 290 kilometres.
Vietnam and the Philippines have had enough of China’s nuisance
The commonality between the Philippines and Vietnam is the fact that both the countries are engaged intense face-off with China at the South China Sea and the BrahMos missiles which can be launched from ships, will give the countries an edge against China and its expansionist activities.
Vietnam is responding to China’s bullying tactics in equal measure with Vietnam’s ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau last year, seeking help from the Indian counterparts about the deteriorating security situation in the South China Sea. China being true to its fickle nature has constantly violated Vietnam’s sovereignty in the South China Sea by conduction military exercises over the Parcel Islands.
Such was the extent of intrusion that Hanoi had requested New Delhi to explore oil and gas blocks off its coast in the South China Sea and thus assume a greater role in the region.
Beijing hates BrahMos
Xi Jinping and his armed forces loathe BrahMos with utmost dedication. After news reports came out last year suggesting that India was planning to deploy BrahMos supersonic missile in advanced outposts, targeting parts of China-controlled Tibet and other regions – Global Times lost its marbles.
The CCP mouthpiece furnished a rant-piece and remarked, “Chinese observers slammed the Indian government’s plan to deploy the BrahMos missile – its most advanced missile – at the India-China border, warning it would add new barriers in talks to peacefully address the border tension and further deteriorate ties.”
Good that China is noting all this. Brahmos is already targeting Chinese installations in Tibet. This is being publicised now to send on open signal to China about India’s preparedness to meet China’s threat. https://t.co/RMY1UkigFe
— Kanwal Sibal (@KanwalSibal) November 14, 2021
Read More: Global Times gets rattled as India flashes the BrahMos card at the China border
While China has been strengthening India’s neighbour and enemy Pakistan, it seems that India is now going to do the same as it plans to strengthen China’s neighbours and rivals in the region.
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