BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture by India and Russia, is on a marketing drive for its powerful anti-ship supersonic cruise missiles in south-east Asia and the Middle East, in a total of 14 countries. The missile is considered the world’s deadliest and can hit a target at speed of around Mach 3 (ie, three times the speed of sound)

In a major development that could change the power dynamics in south-east Asia, the Philippines signed an agreement in March 2021 for a potential supply of BrahMos cruise missiles on Tuesday, the country's Department of National Defence revealed.

Present at the signing ceremony, held at Camp Aguinaldo - the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines - were Raymundo Elefante, Undersecretary at the Department of National Defence, and India’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Shambhu Kumaran.

“We are buying the BrahMos missiles,” Defence Secretary of the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, said after the signing ceremony without giving any further details.

The joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace told Sputnik on Sunday that it plans to sign $1 billion worth of new contracts by the year-end, which will take the company's yearly total to $6 billion.

"We plan to sign a number of contracts soon. Thus, our total order portfolio will amount to $6 billion by the end of this year", a company spokesperson said.

Most orders were placed by land forces, 40 percent, the spokesperson said. Navy and air forces accounted for 30 percent of the orders each.

At the moment, the worth of BrahMos's contracts signed in 2021 is just over $5 billion.

BrahMos Aerospace, established in 1998, specialises in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems.