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Analysis: The Philippines’ Naval Build Up

HMAS Balikpapan, Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) L133 HMAS Betano, and Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1665 transit out of the Segond Channel during Pacific Partnership 2011. US Navy Photo

HMAS Balikpapan, Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) L133 HMAS Betano, and Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1665 transit out of the Segond Channel during Pacific Partnership 2011. US Navy Photo

Like many of its regional peers, the Philippines is in the midst of a defense buildup, motivated in no small part by China’s assertive moves in the western Philippine Sea and the resource-rich Spratly islands.

The donation this week of two Balikpapan-class Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) from Australia was the most recent boost to Philippines defense efforts.

The LCH donation is particularly timely, as it complements the upcoming pair of Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV), being built by PT PAL Indonesia. Based on the Indonesian navy’s successful Makassar-class Landing Platform Dock (LPD), the 8,600-ton amphibious lift ships can transit to remote areas and serve as a mobile base for helicopters and smaller landing craft. As evidenced during Typhoon Haiyan, the dearth of such assets hampered the Philippine government’s aid response to the hardest-hit parts of the country.

As gifts stand, the donation of ex-HMAS Tarakan and Brunei is particularly generous – the Royal Australian Navy will hand them over fully refurbished with new safety and navigation components, plus spare parts packages. Manila is considering purchasing the three remaining LCHs as well.

While the media focus of Manila’s defense acquisitions under the Capability Upgrade Program has been centered on big-ticket items to restore basic conventional force capabilities, there have been other, quieter acquisitions that directly support war-fighting and maritime domain awareness (MDA).

Notably, the service signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 with the Philippine National Oil Company to transfer three retired 2,500 ton petroleum tank ships. This acquisition would enable fuel replenishment at sea and increase on-station time for high-endurance assets like the patrol frigates Ramon Alcaraz and Gregorio Del Pilar, both formerly U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutters.

Another low-profile capability is the National Coast Watch Center program—a surveillance system designed to monitor oceanic traffic in the western Philippine Sea. As expected, details of this national intelligence capability are closely held, but much of it is likely based on the successful implementation of the earlier Coast Watch South program. With heavy U.S. assistance, the Philippines created a network of monitoring stations combining radar, maritime surveillance and radio/data networks that provides a real-time strategic and tactical “picture” of oceanic traffic in the Southern Philippines—the so-called Sulawesi Sea Triangle. That area is a hotbed of illicit trafficking by sea and a favored logistical trail for transnational insurgent forces that prowl the region. When completed in 2015, the west-facing Coast Watch chain will monitor the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), extending 200 nm into the contested Spratly Islands group. In the future, additional monitoring chains will cover the Northern and Eastern facing portions of the country as well.

The most recent, visible and well-publicized modernization program has been the integration of the multipurpose helicopter program with the patrol frigate force. Five Augusta-Westland A109s twin-engine helicopters equipped with forward-looking infrared have been delivered to the fleet to replace long-retired BO-105s. From an operational perspective, the navy has made quick strides to integrating the air asset with ships of the line. The AW109s had a maiden deployment on board Ramon Alcaraz during the Australian multinational military exercise Kakadu 2014, approximately eight months after receiving the first helicopters.

Two Augusta-Westland A109s via Wikipedia

Two Augusta-Westland A109s via Wikipedia

Out of all the projects to restore capabilities, the navy is still awaiting final determination of its premier acquisition – the multi-role frigate. The Philippines wants to buy two units to serve as major and modern combatants of the patrol frigate force. While the negotiations have been stymied by a complex two-phase process, a list of qualified bidders has emerged, including well-known Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and several South Korean firms, among others. A winning bid was to be selected in late 2014, but the acquisition process reportedly has been complicated by efforts to separate the tracks of selecting a ship from the embedded weapon systems. This may have to do with current challenges of the Philippines not being easily cleared for purchases of regional-balance changing weapons, such as a long-range surface-to-surface missile, with which this ship class is normally equipped.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has benefited under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration. To date, multiple modernization programs have either reached significant acquisition stages or have been completed entirely during his tenure.

However, as the new paint smell wears off for the navy, the historical challenges that have haunted its past acquisitions and programs loom. It is critical that the next presidential administration continue to support the acquisitions, as well as the services, both politically and fiscally. The navy needs to ensure that internal expertise among the ranks to maintain their newly acquired equipment is present and sustainable. Above all, operating effectively and efficiently at sea continues to be the primary objective. The nation’s seafaring history and ties to the maritime culture give impetus to the current goals of ensuring territorial integrity and establishing a credible defense. Given the relatively rapid pace of modernization, the Philippine navy is well on the road to restoring the capabilities necessary to meet those demands.

  • The Philippines have at least 2 decades to modernize. They are never gona be at the level of their next door neighbors. Even Vietnam and Taiwan have frigates that can spank the Philippines.

    • headrock

      Well they can try.

    • kolokoy

      Heyy poor nicky boy pretending that u r a real american blooded,,just take a quick look where u came from,, i think PHL is better than your country poor little nicky boy.,, always critizing other so you cover the real situation in your country,,

      why not your country try to attack phl lets see who will stand last,,

      • Secundius

        Hey guys, we have another TROLL on the forum…

      • Look at the poor Pinoy boy who thinks they can fight but then begs for America to bail them out

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          I did hear back from you yesterday, so I assuming you got your information…

          • I got the Info and I think the next Frigate for the US Navy should be based on the US Coast Guard’s National security cutter design

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            The PF4921 or FFE-62 (aka, Legend class NSC spinoff) would make a great Frigate Design, Only if we can get Congress to FUND IT…

          • I would think so too because the Legend class Cutters can be used as a basis for the next Frigate design.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Actually there are, there’s the PF4921 Patrol Frigate and the PF4501 Light Frigate designs, basically the difference between the two is Crew Size and something else. But I forgot what it was, I think the differences were the type of SAM’s. The Patrol Frigate had the ESSM system and the Light Frigate had the SM-3ER system…

          • Though I think the US navy should have used the NSC as a baseline for a Frigate.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            All we need now is a Congress that put’s the need’s of the Country, before there Personal Political Views and Personal Greed…

          • At the same time fire those who put the LCS or ever thought of the LCS. Even though I still think the LCS is combining the Avenger MCM and Cyclone PC.

          • At the same time fire those who put the LCS or ever thought of the LCS. Even though I still think the LCS is combining the Avenger MCM and Cyclone PC.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            SecDef. Donald Rumsfeld push the design back in 2001…

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            It’s looking like Worst Case Scenario, several people I’ve communicated with. Say that FF class replacement is most likely to be based on the Independence class LCS/FF, about 15% larger than existing LCS Design and ~6,000-tons. As a side note, the ANZAC and MEKO 200 ANZ are the same class of ship. The only differences, one was produced in Germany and other being produced in Australia…

          • Which I think the US Navy should have gone with the NSC as a base line. I think they should keep the LCS in the PC and MCM fleet and call it a Corvette. As for a REAL Frigate, they should build on based on the MEKO A200 or NSC baseline.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Agreed, hopefully with some skillful legerdemain that will happen…

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Hey Nicky. There’s a “Back-Door Open” approach to the 1920’s “The Jones Act”. It’s so simple, I’m surprised nobody thought of it before. While the US. Government and US. Navy can’t by directly for Foreign Sources. The US. Army CAN. Just order the ship’s through THEM…

          • See the US Navy can buy the blueprints, but the ship has to be built in the US by a US shipyard.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            That not what I meant. The US. Navy and US. Government could always buy the plans, and manufacture hear. The Jones Act, prohibits the US. Government and US. Navy from buy ship’s directly from foreign sources. While the US. Army can buy ship’s directly…

          • Secundius

            @ Correct. While the US. Army is exempt from the Jones Act can by DIRECTLY from Foreign Yards. I don’t know weather that was meant to be written into the Jones Act. Or weather it was a flaw in the writing in the Act. I’ll have to dig deep to find out…

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Nope, no flaw Jones Act was written, as written. Jones Act didn’t anticipate US. Army buying their own ship’s in a Future Date and Time. If they knew US. Army was, Congress would have written it in…

        • Silao Koi

          Dude.. i know my country aint rich or powerful. But seriously.. even goliath got killed by david. Besides.. would your country really take the chance to lose an ally..?

          Our sense of loyalty makes us stick tonournallies. But theres a pile of bad experiences just piled up in our peoples memory. you havent studied military history. Try studying harder so youll understand why mckinley had to invade. Why the mdt was crafted. It wasnt for our benefit. It was for the benefit of the states. Rescind it. Well get over it.

          personally ill be happy about it. Tatanga tanga yung ibang pinoy dito. Super day dreams ung iba naman may inferiority complex. if china can be a better friend.. why not ally with china. Im sure it will be better for us to help an ascending super power. We just have to make sure we help china kick america so we can tie loose ends.

      • Anon

        do us a favor and lay off the weed-induced fantasies. you’re making us all look bad.

        sincerely, a Filipino.

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      The problem is, in the two decades it takes them to Modernize. Their just going too have to start the process, all over again…

      • Which the problem with the Philippines is that they are playing catch up and have not kept up with the times.

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          You really can’t blame the Filipino’s for the problem. Ferdinand Marcos, former President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Raped the Philippine Treasury blind, the went from 2nd World statis to 3rd World statis literally Overnight. And worst part was nobody would help the out. It was like building a new nation from Scratch. They couldn’t Import things, because they didn’t have the money to do it with. And they Virtually nothing to offer the rest of the world. And the really funny part is, we the United States of America. Gave President Ferdinand Marcos and his extended family asylum in Hawai’i including the money he stole from the Philippine People. And gave his US. Secret Service Protection, too…

          • Ironic that the US would do that. Some in the US have even thought of dumping the MDT on them and let them fend for themselves.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            This is why the United States is so loved in the world…

          • Yea, cane we have the technology

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Don’t go Bonkers Nicky. But, ChiCom’s have started Deep-Water Dredging (for Larger Naval Ships) on Assimilated Philippine Owned Islands…

          • Silao Koi

            Lol. are you american?… some americans sound like hypocrites. We got attacked because we were a US colony in ww2. We fought under the american flag but the next president ditched roosevelts promise to the veterans. We became independent after being the 2nd worst bombed country (by the US attempting to dislodge the japanese positions) after poland in ww2. The us didnt give assistance like they did to europe and japan. then they imposed the parity rights agreement which killed off whatever remaining industries we had. We survived and became one of the richer nations in asia.. until the cold war came and the US supported marcos – a dictator.. so much for protecting democracy.. and just so you know… we didnt ask america to come here… you invited yourselves in.. and imposed yourselves in us after we fought off the spanish. We had to fight america, who came as friends but attacked us instead .. leaving a few millions filipinos dead.

            As for your mdt. Sure the US can dump it. But it will be the end of the US alliance system. No one will trust you.. japan and south korea will probably militarize.

            make sure you are ready to defend guam and marianas (previously part of spanish philippines which you havent returned), hawaii and the west coast from the 1 billion chinese or so who dont like the US.

            without an mdt we have two choices.. 1. Militarize.. ala north korea.. the only way we can deter china is by going nuclear.

            2. Ally with china. Open philippine soil to chinese bases and troops. The south china sea will become a chinese lake. south korea and japan will be easily isolated from trade.. and the chinese will have a buffer and can finally sorround and retake taiwan. Like the japanese. The fall of the philippines will secure chinese trade routes and provide them with natural resources for improving their war machinery and will allow then to strike deep into south east asia. The US can block the straits of mallacca but wont make a difference. The philippines has one of the largest nickel resources. We have rubber and oil deposits.

            Chinese subs and ships can then cross the pacific and contest american supremacy of the pacific. They will have access to the pacific ocean… something that no other country had. Britain stopped germany from going to the atlantic to invade the united states and the philippines marooned the japanese 4th army. This time the us wont be so luckY. you have reduced industrial capacity due to outsourcing. The economy is in shambles. the middle east hates you. europe is deep in its own problems and south korea and japan will probably distrust you if they cant get trade through the scs.

            So sad to say.. but this aint the last century. As things stand.. we are collateral damage. The chinese are after us because of the US. it is becuase we are allies.. and becuase we are a former US colony that china is pressuring us. The big fat target is the US o A.

            So which choice is better? I think option 2 is better. Wed rather let the chinese have a go at you than starve oursrlves to get nukes like north korea.

            I will personally lobby to the visayan block if the mdt is cancelled. Its the america’s problem.. not ours. Americans would be happier knowing chinese subs are in the west coast.. ?ready to nuke them. I think itll be exciting to see who wins.

          • Yet, the Philippines squandered their Military over 2 decades ago

          • Master of Unlocking

            Although others have floated the possibility of your being a fake American and a 50-cent troll, I’m willing to accept that you are indeed American, just one who happens to hate the Philippines. It makes no difference, since, fortunately, you are not the one in charge of US foreign policy or anywhere near to being in charge, and the US will not annul its alliance with the Philippines no matter how much you wish for that to happen. So you can continue ranting online. It’s all you can do anyway.

            It is possible that you are an American citizen of Chinese descent, which would go a long way towards explaining your otherwise inexplicable hostility towards the Philippines, a country that has been a longstanding and loyal US ally. This would make you a security risk to the US in the event of war breaking out between China and the US. I’m sure you remember that the US interned Japanese-Americans when Japan went to war with them. Just saying.

          • I think your a pinoy boy who is really Jealous of the US military and China

  • Walter_Peterson

    Perhaps the Philippines would like to revive SEATO?

    • Secundius

      @ Walter_Peterson.

      To “Jumpstart” SEATO (South-East Asia Treaty Organization), your going to have to include Vietnam in the Rebuild. Without them, your wasting your time…

  • Ray Lewis

    It’s too bad the Philippines didn’t think early enough that china’s dictators would be stupid enough to pick on small countries. If china don’t back off soon the world will not buy low quality “made in china” goods anymore. I noticed it has already started.

    • bucherm

      ‘ If china don’t back off soon the world will not buy low quality “made in china” goods anymore.’

      Do people seriously still solely equate stuff built in China with “low quality goods”? I guess those iPhones and all those Android devices(as well as many computers) are just piles of crap, huh?

      • Ray Lewis

        Those are made by china for foreign companies under that foreign company’s strict instructions. Who knows how many are rejected during the quality inspections before shipping out of china.

        • bucherm

          I would speculate the answer is “not many”. If QC was really as horrible as you’re claiming, then the foreign companies would be manufacturing them elsewhere.

          • Secundius

            @ burcherm.

            You’d be surprised , Sir. When I left the Army in the Mid-70’s, I worked for awhile as an “assembler” for a computer company. Making IBM components, one of the things they told us. Is the defect rate amongst computer related equipment is about 40%. That’s probably why I waited 40-years, before buying my first computer…

      • your dady

        I phones are now made in Philippines..200 Japanese factories were moved from China to Philippines…..

  • Scipio

    It’s too much of a stretch to characterize the Philippine Navy’s (PN) current efforts as a “build up.” Such a term generally points to something akin to what the US did in building up its Navy during World War II. There was an already established force of battle ships, cruisers, and carriers, but the US needed to “build up” in order to take on naval combat operations across the globe. The Philippine Navy isn’t “building up.” At best it is attempting to restore a foundation upon which it can build up. So, it is surprising that some may view the PN’s effort to obtain missile armed frigates as potentially “altering” the regional balance. Even if the PN had ten modern missile frigates such a force would be miniscule compared to the PRC’s inventory of 24 destroyers, 47 frigates, 18 corvettes, and 105 missile boats. That doesn’t even take into account the budding carrier aviation that it is working on. And by the way, the PN isn’t likely to get funding for 10 modern missile armed frigates. Let’s face it, all the hesitation in allowing the PN to develop its surface warfare capability is about being “sensitive” to the PRC. In the mean time the PRC isn’t wasting a second being “sensitive” to anyone’s views on its build up, not only in naval capabilities, but also in literally building up islands in disputed regions.

    • 3xposed

      There are views that obtaining missile frigates will be altering the regional balance not because of number of ships deployed with missiles. Rather, it is potentially PN triggering major conflict because of the perceived ability to take on the adversary missile vs missile and then falling back on the MDT, much like how Serbia triggered a series of alliances and plunging Europe into war. The PCG action against an unarmed Taiwanese fishing vessel did not help with building any confidence.

      • Scipio

        I think those views are overly alarmist. The PN folks are smart enough to know that even ten frigates isn’t going to be enough to “take on” the PLAN. However, those frigates would allow them to stand their ground, and it would make the PLAN think twice about acting belligerently. Furthermore, allies can and should help the PN in that regard (discipline) by training with them and increasing joint naval exercises. While the incident regarding the Taiwanese fishing vessel was tragic, it was more about an incompetent effort at arresting fleeing poachers as opposed to a rogue action a la Arch Duke Ferdinand.

        • 3xposed

          Considering there are those who do think the MDT covers the disputes in the Spratlys, I don’t think allies agree with you behind closed doors. Again, it’s not about simply looking at ten frigates and assuming its sufficient, it would be the miscalculation of firing upon the adversary to “stand their ground” and expecting the MDT gets invoked defacto. This would put allies into a bind. Otherwise, it doesn’t take this long to sell PN some missiles. After all, the two Hamilton cutters can be installed with Harpoon as it once was demonstrated in the past.

          The PCG incident is exactly why there’s such concern. To date, there has been no proof the fishing vessel was poaching. Furthermore, while the Philippines charges China of not respecting its EEZ, it has not officially delineated it’s EEZ boundaries with Taiwan and unilaterally presumes the fishing vessel was within its EEZ. If the Philippines can argue China cannot lay so much claim to waters bordering the Western Philippines even if Itu Aba has its own EEZ (it being under Taiwanese/Chinese control), it cannot turn around and presume Batanes will extend the Phillppine EEZ that far up into Taiwan’s backyard. Such actions only cause concern for allies because Taiwan is also their ally and has been the most amendable to peaceful resolution such as fishing rights between Japan and Taiwan.

          Another incident that doesn’t inspire confidence with allies was the PN attempt to arrest Chinese fishermen at Scarborough. What should be a coast guard issue gets a monumental escalation with the decision to send in the newest, largest military acquisition and flagship of the PN. No doubt the intent was to send a tough message but that also reflects a lack of moderation. It became a grey vs white, a break from maritime policy. If BRP del Pilar was not considered provocative, then there was no need to switch it out with a PCG in an attempt to de-escalate the standoff.

          • gunshotlead

            To be clear, the standoff at Scarborough used BRP GDP because there were no other PCG assets able to reach out to the shoal and remain on-station. This is why the PCG is working hard to get those Patrol Boats with Japanese aid. You come to the dance with the dress that you have.

          • 3xposed

            Didn’t have to be an issue of remaining on station. A PCG vessel sent to the shoal with BRP del Pilar loitering in the distance would have qualified as white on white. Ultimately, the PN needs to rethink it’s assets and resources. Australia which has a much larger span of water to patrol and with more resources still does not have a separate navy and CG. Perhaps the PN would do better rolling the PCG into the PN? Then there is no immediate distinction of grey or white?

          • gunshotlead

            You’re missing the point. The PCG has NO assets which can even reach the shoals without it taking an inordinate amount of time (responsiveness) never mind stay on station (presence). Again, if you look at the PCG state of inventory, any deepwater assets are non-existent or rotting away at the piers. There is an urgency to getting the PB assistance from Japan, because that will let them conduct White-on-White as well as reach the areas they are supposed to be operating in. Australia has the tyranny of distance on it’s side – China can’t reach that far without exposing a logistical chain to intervention from potentially friendly or allied nations. But to reach out to Scarborough and any point on the Western side of the Philippines, especially with the amount of boats the China Marine Agency has? It’s a piece of cake for them. The game is Presence. Why do you think the grounded LCM outpost bothers them so much? It’s a pain in their side. It’s two cutters they have to constantly keep on station to ensure the RP doesn’t get to reinforce the outpost materially.

          • 3xposed

            BRP Pampanga replaced BRP del Pilar during the standoff. Fully capable of reaching the area. Pampanga belongs to a class of 4 commissioned 2000-2003 Range of 1000 miles with max speed 26 knots.

            There’s the Ilocos Nortes class of 4, range 1000 miles, max speed 25 knots, commissioned 2001-2004.

            Let’s not forget BFAR with their Rodman-101 patrol boats delivered 2006 onward, class of 10, range 1000 miles, max speed 35 knots, way faster than BRP del Pilar. It happened to be MCS-3001 that was involved with the Taiwan incident. So there are assets. It wouldn’t provide the shock and awe but there’s been many other fishermen intercepts that happen without fanfare from all these CG units. All BRP del Pilar had to do was idle in the distance.

            I actually haven’t missed the point. When I mention Australia, I’m not talking about anything to do with China. Australia has its own challenges with Indonesian smugglers and refugees, no distance advantage at all. But as mentioned before, they do not split their resources between a navy and a coast guard which is something the Philippines should reconsider if everyone here keeps saying there isn’t enough resources. Save money from the redundant administrative head count and positions.

            For the most part, Australia relies on a fleet of 14, now 13 Armidale class patrol boats to patrol their entire country’s coastlines when it comes to routing patrol duty. They are only 300 tons, even smaller than BRP Pampanga. What they do is assign three crews to two boats so these units are at near constant deployment. That’s efficiency and maximizing resources.

          • Silao Koi

            Thatsba bad idea. It would lead to an escalation we dont want.. and neither does the us. China is not using PLAN ships but coastgaurd and maritime ships from paramilitary agencies. Brp del pilar was there becuase it was nearest to interdict the poachers. Once the chinese coast guard came in we sent phil coastguard vessels to de escalate. It would be political and propagabda ammmunition for china to allege that were using our military to stand off with their civilian (paramilitary) ships. Thats why we call it salami slicing strategy on the chinese because they change the facts on the sea while ensuring the level of force used is insufficient to justify a military response. Thats why a separate coastguard is needed

          • Silao Koi

            Thebpribelm with delineating the eez with taiwan is that taiwan is still called the republic of china.. the nine dash line which is the prc’s basis for its claims are actually legacies of the koumintang regime.

            That said taiwan also claims the nine dash line. Taiwan cannot delineate nor can disown the nine dash line becuase any change would be taken by beijing as a de facto change in the status quo/declaration of independence. Thats reason for beijing to invade taiwan.

            If you can force taiwan to delineate… we will be very happy

    • Ruckweiler

      scipio:
      Well, you have to start somewhere, I suppose. Red China is set on intimidating its neighbors and like it or not they’re going to have to rearm and prepare. The one I’m most curious about are the Japanese. The Red Chinese continually lump the modern Japanese with the WWII Imperial country to angrify the Chinese populace.

      • Secundius

        @ Ruckweiler.

        Under Imperial Japanese occupation the Chinese lost ~6,000,000 people. Under the Banner of Mao Zedong the Chinese lost ~108,000,000 people, about an 18-to-1 ratio…

        • Ruckweiler

          Secundias:
          Agree with the numbers but, as you know, the Communists are accentuating the invasion of China and such events as the Rape of Nanking.

          • Secundius

            @ Ruckweiler.

            The hypocrisy is, that even the Nazi’s were appalled by the Rape of Nanking…

      • Scipio

        Sir – I agree that the PN has to start somewhere. My point was that labeling the PN’s effort as a “build up” seems overly dramatic. The PN is simply establishing foundational capabilities that will not alter regional balance. As for the Japanese, I think they are simply protecting what they know to be theirs, and they are very much able to do so.

        • Silao Koi

          Labeling ia ine way of doing propaganda. Have you ever heard about panday pira.? Google it ans see where we are coming froM.

    • Ebz Pogi

      Then how would you like to describe what the Philippine Navy is doing? Inching up? Tinie winie itsy bitsy build up? Its just an adjective dude..

  • Pingback: The Philippines’ Naval Build Up: USNI News()

  • EyesWideOpen

    It is intelligent discussion going on here, which you seldom find elsewhere. Thanks!

  • hotbluecar7

    Good job for the Philippines trying to modernize their fleet….they need a lot of these to monitor the 7,107 islands of the Philippine archipelago. The Philippines has a population of 108 million people and they are trying to modernize in many ways. There are many projects that are being developed in the Philippines. There are many new airports, new roads, new hotels, new resorts, new buildings, new convention centers, some of the largest shopping malls in the planet have arisen, the Philippine Arena as the largest indoor arena in the world opened up, new mega casinos, new LRT and MRT station expansions, new theme parks, new museums, new schools, cleaning up river programs, building new homes for the impoverished etc. etc. I hope to see the Philippines progress even more and to have prosperity to all it’s numerous islands for they have lovely people and a beautiful country.

  • Philippine Navy is one of the best in the world. Hope they will help us to train our Armed Forces here in Mexico

    • Are you joking or are you on Drugs. The Philippines is the weakest Military in Asia. Look at the fiasco at the UN peacekeeping operation in Lebanon.

      • your dady

        I think lem1 is admiring Philippine Navy compared to Mexican Navy… We do have a better Navy compared to Mexico.. Thank you lem1 for your compliment.

        • Mexico and for the most part Latin America has a far better Navy than the Poor, corrupt Philippines. At least with Mexico, they can build their own FAC’s, OPV’s and Patrol Boats. Even Latin America Navies like Peru and Chile are willing to buy second hand ships and modernize them.

          • your dady

            Philippines does have the 4th largest ship builder in the world and they are building military patrol boats for our military.You know,you seem to be anti Philippines. There’s 126 countries in the world and Philippines is rated at number 40 in global military power. Obviously you are Chinese not living in United States.
            What’s your purpose in this politics when you have no affiliation but to cause havoc .

          • I see your jealous that Latin America has a military that can stand up to anything.

          • your dady

            Your argument is childish, and you are not an American as you claim to be but a troll. I live in United States and married to an American. There is no reason for me to be jealous. I also pay two taxes Philippine and US ..I am also a patriot of both country. United States and Philippines….I came from a long line of military background. You my friend is a fake and a true inspiration for birth control.

    • Anon

      as a fellow FIlipino, i’d advise you to lay off the fantasies and face reality. stop making us look like idiots in the internet arena with your fantasy crap.

      it will take us a while to catch up… if we DO catch up.

      i do admire the present administration’s efforts to modernize, however.

      • Secundius

        @ Anon.

        I have several Filippino friends, and almost seem to agree that Marco had a lot to do with the “Down Fall” of the Philippine Navy. Stealing all countries money and having to take decades, to make up the resources. Played havoc on the countries economy. Hopefully the New Dutch De Zeven Provincien class Frigate, going into service with the PN will put the country back on the right path. And the reopening of Subic Bay will “Jumpstart” the economy…

        • Scipio

          De Zeven Provincien class frigates? Reopening Subic would definitely be nice.

          • Secundius

            @ Scipio.

            Subic Bay Naval Base was reopened to the US. Navy in June of 2012. And it looks like the PN may have bought at least 2 De Zeven Provincien class Frigates, probably all they could afford. They didn’t want any OHP class Frigates…

          • Scipio

            It’s too bad I’m too far along in my career and in the wrong service to get an assignment to Subic.

        • Anon

          yep. him and his materialistic b**** of a wife.

          hmm… De Zeven Provincien-class frigates? there’s no recent news about the light frigate bidding lately. the DND is keeping mum. did a quick wiki, however. they look impressive.

          i do know that the 2 old Hamilton-class cutters we have are -slowly- being upgraded. BRP Alcaraz (ex-Dallas) already had her Mk.38 Mod.2 guns installed just last month.

          and yeah, opening Subic again would help us out nicely.

          anwyay, it’s a start. at least the current administration is actually showing efforts to modernize, not unlike the last ones.

          • Secundius

            @ Anon.

            The Mk. 38 Mod. 2 are NOT the OLD 5-inch/38-caliber Naval Guns, there the NEW 25x137mm M242 Bushmaster Auto Cannons. And as far as I know the Oto Melara 3-inch (76.2mm/62-caliber) Autocannon is still going to be used…

  • Jay

    This “modernisation” of the AFP has been going on since Marcos and nothing really changes, no capabilities improve. It’s just more opportunity for the civilians and higher ranking uniforms to steal and enrich themselves and their families.

    • Secundius

      @ Jay.

      Isn’t that the Universal Constant nowadays “Privateerism”.

  • Secundius

    Maybe you should wait until enough De Zeven Provincien class Frigates go into the Philippine Naval Service. That way you can show the ChiCom PLAN, you actually have TEETH…

  • Jose N Pepe

    Philippines still need more battleships, submarines and of course, aircraft carriers. So other nations like China will begin to respect our territorial sovereignty.

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  • Goodonis

    Whatever happened to the Korean Pohang class corvette that was supposedly donated by the South Koreans and announced to be handed over to the Philippine Navy by the end of 2014? Well, the 1st quarter of 2015 is almost over and no Pohang yet for the PN.

    • Secundius

      @ Goodonis.

      Apparently the South Koreans thought they were making a Great Deal to the Philippines, and the Philippines were shrewder buyers. The initial sale was for the Pohang class Corvette and some TA-50 Light Fighters. The Philippine’s didn’t want the TA-50 Light Fighters, and wanted the Incheon class Frigate instead. The talks stalled and the deal went nowhere, and at the end No Sale…

  • Goodonis

    The Philippine Military Modernization is at best a token of wishful thinking. Could it be done? Definitely yes, yet as usual the politicos in the National Government does more modernization by their mouth rather than actually doing it as they could not get kickback there. Floyd Mayweather sums it up by saying “Show me the money!”

  • Pepe

    With so many comments and plans being said the present Phil. Naval Vessel iare stil to small and handicapped to face even the surveillance ships of China. My suggestion istto convince President Aquino to USE THE INTERNATIONAL DOLLAR RESERVES TO THE amount of 15 billion Dollars to buy 2 squadrons of Fighter Planes and 10 Destroyer ships. I favor France’s made Dassault or soon to be retired U.S. F18 Hornets

    • Secundius

      @ Pepe.

      Which Dassault, All the Strike Aircraft are Dassault…

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  • barry

    resurrect SEATO, but concentrated on a more independant asian pacific partnership with a strongly tied maritime defense contract .
    there is much talent in both japan and south korea to jointly build major propulsion systems such as gas turbines and even nuclear systems.
    hull prefab can be assigned to phillipine,austrailian and tiawanese yards.
    the new japanese light carrier “destroyer” design should be replicated to provide the same ships across SEATO 2 with each partner having perhaps 2 or 3 and equipped with a very small number of the F35 VSTOL(assuming bugs worked out) and V-22 .
    in addition,a very formidible general purpopse hull should incorporate a verticle launch misslie system capable of launching the latest tomahawk block 2 along with the ASROC asw and latest standard AA missiles. the only deck clutter should be one 5 inch DP bow gun loaded with laser guided shells and an aft mounted 30 mm ciwis.
    this type of ship would seriously threaten any major warship that china may float.

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