Indian Navy Dornier 228
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced that it had received interest from the Philippine Coast Guard for the purchase of 7 Dhruv MK-III light helicopters and 8 Do-228s as part of New Delhi’s line of credit to Manila.
The maritime variant of Dhruv ALH is currently being evaluated by the Philippines. This entailed equipping the Dhruv Mark III with marine policing capabilities and transforming the standard ALH into the Dhruv Maritime Role (MR) variant.
Defense industry watchers and market forecasts indicate that the most viable contenders for the Filipino-helicopter contract are the HAL Dhruv MR and the Panther AS565 Airbus. The platforms are likely to duke it in a bid to bag the Rs 3,000 Crore contract. India’s state-owned HAL has been proactive in pitching its platform. Both the Dhruv and AS565 come with similar price tags.
Indian defence analyst Ajay Shukla Tweeted, “India closes in on a contract to export Dhruv maritime helicopters, developed and built by Hindustan Aeronautics to the Philippines. It is a straight contest between two helicopters – the Dhruv Maritime Role (MR) and the Airbus Panther AS565.”
In its annual report for 2020-21, HAL first indicated Manila’s interest in purchasing these two ‘Made in India’ platforms. “Our chances in the Philippines appear bright,” HAL’s chairman, R Madhavan, told Business Standard. HAL manufactured the Dhruv MR as the “original equipment manufacturer” (OEM) of the Dhruv without being hampered by end-user restrictions.
On February 2, it was reported that the Philippine Department of Defense is continuing to discuss with India about the second procurement of BrahMos missile systems (surface-to-surface versions) for the Philippines Army (PA).
According to The Hindu newspaper, “The Marines deal is done, next will be of the Philippines Army. The Philippines Army (PA) will push through with the project,” which is currently working to promote to procure two batteries of BrahMos surface-to-surface missile. Acquisition of BrahMos by the PA is programmed in the Horizon 3 Modernization programme of Philippines (Year 2023-2027),
In preparation for this, in 2019, the PA formed the first surface-to-surface missile battalion of the army artillery regiment to prepare for the formation of the unit and organize training in the use of BrahMos.
In addition to the BrahMos procurement contracts for the military, recently, the Indian company MKU has won a contract to supply bulletproof Jackets (BPJ) to PA and is currently bidding for larger contracts to supply BPJ and helmets for all forces. India and the Philippines are also planning to negotiate the purchase of patrol boats for the navy and coast guard of this country.
In order to promote the “blood change” of the military equipment to cope with the great threat from the Chinese navy and air force, the Philippine government is considering India as the most suitable partner to buy all types of military equipment as part of large-scale military modernization.
In addition to India and the Philippines have also increased cooperation and procurement of weapons and naval equipment with Japan, South Korea, etc., in order to rapidly increase its combat capability in the East Sea.