Indonesia becomes the second ASEAN member country to import BrahMos missiles from India. India and Indonesia are likely to sign the agreement by the end of this year or early next year. Arms deal can strengthen India’s relationship with East Asian countries. Indonesia was rumored to be interested in the BrahMos missile years ago. Reports about this came out during the ASEAN India Summit held in New Delhi in January 2018. But in Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines was the first to acquire India’s strength. The Philippines has signed a $374.96 million arms deal with India.
Indonesia is preparing to buy BrahMos missiles that can be launched from warships. A team from BrahMos Aerospace has already visited the Indonesian shipyard to conduct an assessment. BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can fly at three times the speed of sound. Can be launched from aircraft, ships, land platforms and submarines.
Other members of the ASEAN countries also want to acquire Indian strength. Countries like Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are also moving for this purpose. Most of the countries in the region are uncomfortable with Chinese interference in their region. So if these countries gain BrahMos strength, it will be a big threat to China. Apart from BrahMos, Vietnam also wants to acquire India’s Akash missile. Negotiations with Malaysia for BrahMos missile are in early stages.
Dealing in arms with ASEAN nations will provide strategic engagement in the region and boost the Indian economy through engagement with rich nations. Russia’s consent is essential if India wants to hand over BrahMos, an India-Russia joint venture, to another country.