Indian Missile Program Updates

Philippines hails BrahMos Missiles as a ‘game changer’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Brahmos Missile

Why in the News?

  • The BrahMos cruise missiles so inducted are termed a “game changer” by the Philippines envoy. The missiles provide credible defence and deterrent capabilities to the Philippines’ armed forces.

About BrahMos Missiles

  • BrahMos is a joint venture between the DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya.
  • The name BrahMos comes from the two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • The first successful test in 2001 was conducted from a specially designed land-based launcher.


  • BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile.
  • Launched from: submarines, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
  • It has two stages:
  1. The first stage comprised a solid-fuel rocket booster and
  2. The second stage comprises a liquid-fueled ramjet. ( because it provides the capability to manoeuvre and increase the range of missiles)


  • Ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead,
  • Aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead.

Variants and Range 

  • The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0, which is being upgraded to Mach 5.0.
  • A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7-8 to boost aerial fast strike capability.
  • Initially restricted by the Missile Technology Control Regime to a range of 290km, the BrahMos missile’s range was extended to 450km following India’s entry into the regime in June 2016.
  • Ongoing efforts aim further to extend the missile’s range beyond 600km, enhancing its operational reach and effectiveness in various scenarios.

India-Philippines Relations: A quick recap

  • Context: 2023 marked the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between India and the Philippines.
  • Equipment Transfers: These agreements facilitated government-to-government procurement of defence material and equipment.

Details of the BrahMos Deal

A MoU on defence cooperation was signed in 2006, reinforced by a 2017 MoU on defence industry and logistics cooperation.

  • Contract Details: In January 2022, the Philippines signed a $375 million deal with India for three batteries of shore-based anti-ship BrahMos missiles.
  • First Export Customer: The Philippines became the first export customer for the joint India-Russia venture.
  • Delivery Milestone: The first batch of missiles was delivered in April 2024.
  • Boost to India’s Defence Export: This deal marks India’s first overseas export of the BrahMos, showcasing India’s growing defence industry capabilities.

Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation

  • Trade Milestone: In 2023, bilateral trade crossed the $3 billion mark for the first time, with a trade balance in India’s favour.
  • Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): Ongoing negotiations for a PTA aim to enhance trade balance and diversification.
  • Trade Partnerships: India is among the top 15 trade partners for the Philippines.

Modernisation of the Philippines Armed Forces

  • Phase-3 Modernisation: The Philippines armed forces are in phase-3, termed Horizon-3, of their modernisation programme.
  • Focus Areas: They are looking at acquiring ships, aircraft, and radars, and enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
  • Strategic Goals: Aiming to defend entitlements and secure their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) against China over its claims for the South China Sea.



[2014] Which reference to the Agni-IV Missile,

which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver one-tonne nuclear warheads about 7500 km away.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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