MANILA --– Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the program to acquire medium-range ramjet supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles is moving forward but getting enough funds for this remains a challenge.
He made this comment when asked by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on updates regarding the plans to acquire the cruise missile which was jointly developed by Russia and India.
"The Brahmos (program) is moving forward but the challenge now is (the) funding," Lorenzana said in a message to PNA late Monday.
When asked for an estimate on how fast the Philippines can get the missile into service, the DND chief said this is dependent on how fast the funds would be made available.
Earlier, Lorenzana said they are planning to acquire at least "two batteries" of the BrahMos cruise missiles with each battery having three mobile autonomous launchers with two or three missile tubes each.
The procurement would be via "government-to-government mode".
If acquired, the missiles will be utilized to fulfill the Philippine Army's (PA) coastal defense missions. Aside from the PA, the DND chief said the weapons can also be used by the Philippine Air Force.
Once the missiles are delivered, Lorenzana said the BrahMos will be the first Philippine weaponry with deterrent capability.
Acquisition of a land-based missile system is under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program which is slated for 2018 to 2022 and geared for the acquisition of equipment geared for external defense and has a budget of PHP300 billion. (PNA)