The Ambassador of India has committed to bolstering defense and security cooperation with the Philippines, providing assurance about the punctual delivery of a Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System, as a pivotal element of the nation’s military modernization efforts.

Valued at P18.9 billion, this military equipment is being procured by the Philippines from BrahMos Aerospace Pit Ltd under the Horizon2 plan within the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. The procurement encompasses three batteries of BrahMos cruise missiles as stipulated in the contract.

During a meeting subsequent to a courtesy visit by Ambassador Shambhu Santha Kumaran to Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., the Philippine official conveyed India’s acknowledgment of the Philippines’ emerging role in shaping the security framework of the Indo-Pacific region.

Kumaran further reaffirmed India’s unwavering dedication to upholding an international order governed by rules and to cultivating stronger ties with similarly inclined countries in the region.

Additionally, Kumaran expressed India’s support for the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and all related ASEAN platforms, particularly emphasizing the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus.

In mutual agreement, both officials resolved to elevate the level of their discourse to accommodate the burgeoning depth and frequency of defense and military interactions.

Teodoro, in his capacity, reiterated the invitation for a face-to-face or online meeting with India’s Minister of Defense.

Kumaran also encouraged intensified collaboration on counter-terrorism, cyber security, maritime security, and specialized training initiatives aimed at augmenting the capabilities of their respective military establishments in addressing shared defense and security challenges.

On the topic of acquisition and defense industry cooperation, Secretary Teodoro underscored the significance of fostering deeper collaboration between the defense industries of both nations, given the Philippines’ ongoing efforts to establish a credible defense posture.

In response, Kumaran warmly welcomed the initiative and conveyed India’s readiness to extend support through funding or credits to aid the development of the Philippines’ defense infrastructure. This encompasses comprehensive maintenance support for diverse projects as well as technology transfer. (ai/mnm)