India and Philippines are reportedly planning to sign BrahMos supersonic cruise missile deal next year as remaining issues are expected to be resolved by next month.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the deal will be signed during a potential summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The summit is expected to be held in February. However, the details are yet to be finalised.
The deal will make the Philippines the first nation to purchase the weapon system, which is developed jointly by India and Russia.
The two countries have been negotiating to reach the deal since last year. The agreement was expected to be finalised earlier this year. However, the Covid-19 pandemic pushed back the signing.
India and the Philippines were expected to sign a defence cooperation and procurement agreement, including the BrahMos deal, this month. The parties failed to sign the deal due to the absence of one of the authorities, causing further delay.
Sources told the Hindustan Times that a team from BrahMos Aerospace, the joint venture (JV) that manufactures the missiles, is expected to visit the Philippines next month to resolve the remaining issues of the proposed deal.
One of the sources was quoted by the publication as saying: “The BrahMos team is expected to iron out a few kinks and address some small issues so that the deal can be signed during the upcoming summit. Everything else has been worked out.”
The Philippines Army selected BrahMos following extensive trials. The weapons system will be delivered to the Philippines Army’s first Land Based Missile System Battery.
In September, India tested the extended-range variant of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. The variant has a range of more than 400km.