Archive for category Armed Forces of the Philippines

The Revised AFP Modernization Law of 2012, signed!

AFP LogoI CHECKED my Facebook account this morning, and my fellas in the AFP Modernization-oriented pages started to post this article from InterAksyon-TV5 News Website.  And I was stunned!

Here is the article:

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 2:29 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday signed into law the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act extending the program for another 15 years.

Republic Act No. 10349 gives the AFP modernization program a budget of P75 million (billion) for the first five years.

Aquino said the new law will “boost the AFP’s capability upgrade program as it shifts from internal to external defense capability.”

It institutionalizes the defense system of management, which incorporates a collegial and collaborative planning and decision-making process by senior defense and military leaders.

The new law also allows additional funding from public-private partnerships entered into by the Department of Defense as well as multi-year contracts.

Aside from this, it exempts from the value added tax and customs duties the sale of weapons, equipment, and ammunition to the AFP.

The law exempts from public bidding major defense purchases such as aircraft, vessels, tanks, armored vehicles, communications equipment and high-powered firearms.

AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos hailed the siging of the law, saying it would “significantly contribute” to the military’s development, particularly towards addressing both internal and external security threats.

“With this the AFP will be able to push for the acquisition of equipment … (and) will also provide greater opportunities and enough time for us to finally achieve a minimum credible defense posture
which will help us in better fulfilling our mandate to protect the people and the state,” Burgos said. (with a report from Abigail Kwok, InterAksyon.com)

AUTHOR’S ASSESSMENT:

It’s been a long wait.  The Department of National Defense has been silent about this and we thought that the AFP Modernization Program is once more, a dud.  I even considered closing this blog site due to the lack of updates coming from the Defense Department.  But cheers to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also to its supporters in Facebook, Twitter, Timawa.net, and other defense-related websites because the long wait is over!

As of this moment, the Revised AFP Modernization Law of 2012 has been enacted into law by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III.  This is a joyful moment for the AFP, for the supporters like us, and to all the Filipino People.  We can now enter and sign the pending contracts entered by the DND, especially the big-tickets like:

  • the Meastrale-class Guided Missile Frigate from Italy
  • the re-arming of the Gregorio del Pilar-class Frigates (couple of months ago, an article from a trusted news source stated that a Philippine Navy-officer revealed a plan of arming the two Frigates acquired from the U.S. with Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles, Sonars, Torpedoes and Torpedo Decoys, and lastly Modern Sensors like Air and Surface Search Radars.  It is not unusual for these two former Hamilton-class cutter to be equipped with the said armaments and sensors.  A sister ship of the current GDP-frigates were already armed with the said armaments and sensors and successfully tested all of it.)
  • the Lead-in Fighter Trainer/Surface Attack Aircraft which will be for the Air Force (it hasnt been fully decided yet if what kind of a warplane are we going to purchase, but we should see some good update about this since the AFP-M Bill is now officially a law),
  • the Anti-Submarine Helicopters for the Navy (which will be used along with the Maestrale-class Frigates),
  • the Light and also the Medium Transport Aircraft for the Air Force as well (it has been circulating that the preferred Medium Transport Aircraft of the DND and the President is the C-27J Spartan from Italy but there are also some news that states that the CN-235 is also being considered),
  • the Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (the DND said that they are considering an MPA from our neighboring country Malaysia, but they didnt specified what it is yet.  But if you’ll look on Malaysia’s Armed Forces Inventory, the only ideal MPA that the DND would consider is the CN-235MPA which is a variant of the CN-235 that is also being considered for the Medium Transport Role)
  • the Close Air Support Aircraft for the Air Force (the DND stated before that they prefer the EMB-314 Super Tucano for this role, though no contract was signed yet due to the pending AFP Modernization Law)
  • the Armed Scout/Attack Helicopter (about a month ago, the DND decided to give a go ahead sign to the Eurocopter AS550 Fennec.  But due to long delays, while the DND is still deciding, Eurocopter already sold the in-stock AS550 Fennecs back to the Pakistanis)
  • the Multi-role Vessels for the Navy (last time I checked, the DND and PN preferred the Makaasar-class MPV, but I am not sure if its still the current preferrence of the Defense Department and the Navy)
  • Tanks, Howitzers and Modern APCs for the Army (I am not very updated regarding the modernization of the Army branch of the AFP, since all of this time, they always get the attention from the Media and the Govt since they are the ones facing the Communists and Extremists.  But dont get me wrong, I also want them to be modernized and be equipped with modern vehicles and weapons like a Main Battle Tank.  But I saw an article couple of months ago that the DND is looking into acquiring MBTs for the Army)
  • and Modern Small Firearms for both Army and the Marine Corps (it has been reported recently that the Marine Corps will get new Rifles as part of the modernization program)

I just hope that the government wont get stuck with the promised P75 Billion in the next five years.  They should also allot more budget for the 10 remaining years of the modernization law since the bill stated that the modernization program should last for 15 years.  Aside from that, they should also increase not only the modernization budget, but also the annual expenses of the AFP and DND.  We might have some money to purchase new military equipments, but if we will not allot some more money to maintain them, then all of these are just a waste of time and resources.

Lastly, I would also like to tell the supporters to be vigilant and to stay frosty with  these modernization program.  We may be under a good administration, so there is no problem regarding the leadership and the higher-ups for now (and I trust them).  But I dont trust the people who are working with or under them, since sometimes, they are also the main source of corruption and massive delays.

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The 2012 AFP Modernization Bill or the House Bill (HB) No. 6410

I KNOW that this is an old issue since this House Bill has been passed by the Legislation, but let me enlighten you on what really happened on the House Bill No. 6410 or the AFP Modernization Act of 2012 in the Senate.

Many military enthusiasts became so angry to some senators whom they have thought that are blocking the passage of the AFP Modernization Bill of 2012.  It made me curious why the senators seem to be stalling the bill before, when they know that we badly need this bill to be passed by the Legislation so that it could be signed by the President/Commander-in-Chief and push through with the modernization.

What I did couple of minutes ago was to read the whole bill, is quite long, but it is very informative.  There are two things that the Senate wants to get some clarification:

First, is the part that says “It allocates P75 billion for the first five years of the revised modernization program.”

Let’s start with this part, because this one sparks the anger of my fellow Filipinos who supported the bill.  Couple of days ago, it was said on the news that Senator Drilon was stalling the passage of the bill because he was asking the Secretary of National Defense and the whole Department if where are they gonna get the other P10 Billion for the P15 Billion of the AFP Modernization.  This started a confusion and anger in the hearts of the Military-enthusiasts in the Philippines.  Because they thought that the Senate only wants the AFP to have P5 Billion annually for the first five years, which is definitely not enough to sustain the modernization.  But here is the thing, the Senate is not actually and intentionally stalling the Bill.  They just need to figure out where to get the P10 Billion of the P15 Billion of the 2013 AFP Modernization Budget.  Remember, the budget for 2013 was already passed by the Legislative Branch.  So this is the problem, the budget for 2013 was already passed, and it is stated on the budget that only P5 Billion were allotted for the AFP Modernization.  Since by the time that the budget was being tackled by the Congress, the HB 6410 was not yet enacted.  Now the 6410 is now in the Senate, there is a conflict between the Budget for 2013 and the AFP-M Bill since the Bill requires the Congress to appropriate P15 Billion per year, but they have already allocated funds couple of months ago.  So that is why Senator Drilon was asking the DND officials if they could get some other source of funds for the 2013 AFP Modernization Budget because if the DND were not able to get any other source of funds, the government is still required by the Bill to appropriate P15 Billion for 2013, so what will happen is the other vital service like Education, Infrastructure, and Social Services will suffer.  So the Senate is not stalling, they are just making sure that the funds for our Child’s education will not be sacrificed, that our Roads and Bridges will always be fixed, and there will be relief goods when a Typhoon struck us again.

Second, the part of the bill that says “a reasonable amount of the national government’s share in the Malampaya oil and gas exploration and such other similar or related explorations for energy.”

Well this is a flaw on the bill that was brought up by Senator Lacson.  I can say that he has a lawyer’s eye.  This seems to be a small issue to some people and should not be a reason to slightly stall the bill (but the bill was already passed).  But in reality, this part of the bill has an Advantage and a Disadvantage as well.  Let’s go with the Disadvantages first.  One of the downfall of this part of the bill is it’s not putting a ceiling on the government to get funds from the Malampaya Gas Project.  That means, if the government and the military will be infested by corrupt officials (if you will elect Binay as President instead of Roxas) again, then the Malampaya Funds will be in great danger.  But lets go to the Advantage, in case of an armed conflict, we could get a “reasonable” amount from the Malampaya Funds to fund our Military to attain its maximum efficiency in case if a “war” broke out.  That is why Senator Lacson is asking questions to protect the Malampaya funds in the future.

My point here is, before we criticize some Government Officials or anyone, lets research about the matter thoroughly first.  Accusing someone by doing something he/she did not do.  I know, I know, we many politicians for their wrongdoings.  But the bashing them is not a solution.  You know what the solution for that?  A piece of lengthy paper, a pen, and the ability to shade the circles on that lengthy paper. You know what I mean right?  If you want those officials out of the government, simple, do not vote them!  Or ask other people to vote wisely.  You hold the solution to our government’s problem.  But for now, since the officials are already in their seats, let’s just make the most of it for the mean time until the next elections.

“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author

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Defense Department Eyes a Long-Range Maritime Surveillance Aircraft for the Armed Forces

AN UPDATE from the Philippine Star Website:

DND plans to purchase Indonesian spy plane

MANILA, Philippines – The government plans to procure a spy plane from Indonesia and a troop transport aircraft from Italy, the Department of National Defense (DND) said yesterday.

Peter Paul Galvez, DND spokesman, said the long-range maritime patrol and surveillance plane is manufactured in Indonesia under a joint venture agreement with Spain.

“On our shortlist is the Indonesian aircraft,” he said. “The long-range patrol aircraft would be devoted solely to conducting maritime surveillance.”

The DND is also scouting for a medium lift aircraft from other European countries at a lower cost, Galvez said.

Once President Aquino approves the acquisition, the spy plane would strengthen the country’s maritime domain awareness.

For a long time, the Armed Forces has been relying mainly on a small number of islander planes for maritime and territorial patrol.

The spy plane is the CASA/IPTN CN-235. The CN-235 surveillance aircraft can double as a military transport plane. Its largest user is Turkey with 61 aircraft.

The surveillance plane has a crew of two, a pilot and co-pilot, and can carry 44 passengers and a payload of 13,120 pounds with a cruising speed of 454 kilometers per hour and a range of 2,730 nautical miles.

(http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=847577&publicationSubCategoryId=63)

AUTHOR’S ASSESSMENT:

The Department of National Defense has been quiet these couple of weeks regarding the progress of the AFP Modernization.  The news about the Harpoons was mentioned by a Naval Officer who refuses to identify himself.  But since this news about the Maritime Patrol Aircraft came from the mouths of the DND officials themselves, then this could be a real thing.

It was announced before that we might be asking the U.S. to conduct Maritime Patrols using the P-3C Orions on the West Philippine Sea.  But that action could agitate China and it could also spark some issue with the militants here in the Philippines because they would likely say that it is a violation of our sovereignty.  So what our Government did was to acquire a Maritime Surveillance Aircraft instead of asking Uncle Sam to do the patrolling for us.  Buying our own MSA?  Why not, right?  It’s a win-win solution for both the Philippines and the United States.  The Philippines wont have any headaches about rally and demonstration of the communist militants, and the United States wont need to make diplomatic moves just to justify the patrolling to China.

I have done some research about the Indonesian Air Force, and I found out that there is only one aircraft in their Inventory that has a Maritime Surveillance Capability, the CN-235MPA.

The CN-235MPA Aircraft of the Indonesians is armed with Exocet Anti-Ship Missiles and Torpedoes for Submarines.  Since there have been some news that we will be getting Harpoons, my assessment will be that these aircraft (in case acquired) will be certified on carrying and firing Harpoons as well.  Having two kinds of Anti-Ship Missiles on our inventory is kinda expensive, so I think it will just be certified for Harpoon (Air-launched version).  It also have an option to put in countermeasure pods.  So just in case that a SAM was fired from a Foreign Naval Warship, the Aircraft can defend itself then retaliate.

This aircraft is a good choice for the Defense Department.  It’s relatively and obviously cheaper compared to the P3-C Orion of the United States.  It is also a STOL aircraft, which means it could take-off and land in a short runway like the one on Pagasa Island in Spratlys.

Cheers for the DND, and looking forward for more updates to come.  I just hope that the Senate will pass the AFP Modernization Bill right away and they will stop stalling the Bill since we need the funds that will be generated by that law for us to buy these equipment.

-the Author

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Naval Cutters Transformed into Patrol Frigates, Then Converted Again into a Guided Missile Frigate

UPDATE from the a local Philippine media website:

Philippine Navy to arm US-acquired ships

The Department of National Defense intends to arm its recently-acquired warship, the Navy’s Hamilton-class cutter BRP Gregorio del Pilar, with antiship missiles, a DND official said Sunday.

The official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the Gregorio del Pilar’s weapons system would be upgraded with Harpoon antiship missiles—described as a modern, all-weather, over-the-horizon defense system.

The Gregorio del Pilar,a decommissioned US Coast Guard cutter, was acquired last August as the Navy’s flagship vessel. Although “combat ready,” the US stripped the warship of its most sensitive armaments.

The Navy is getting another Hamilton-class cutter from the US, the Coast Guard cutter “Dallas,” and this would also be fitted with missiles here, the source said.

“These upgrades will make our Hamilton-class cutters more capable vessels. It will definitely satisfy our minimum deterrent capability as far as naval defense is concern,” the official said.

AUTHOR’S ASSESSMENT of the NEW UPDATE:

AFP Modernization and/or Military enthusiast, lets rejoice!  This news is better than the TA-50 acquisition.  Maybe because it was not expected by the majority of the AFP fans.  It was not unknown to us that a former sister ship of our Gregorio del Pilar-class Patrol Frigate, the USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717) was testedUSCGC Mellon, test firing a Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile during the 90′s to be equipped and capable on firing the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles.  It was installed, tested, and successfully fired (see the left image).  Proving the capability and versatility of the Hamilton-class Cutters.

Based on the U.S. Coast Guard website, the USCGC Mellon was not only equipped with Harpoons, but it was also equipped with Anti-Submarine Capability like Sonars, Torpedo Decoys and Torpedoes themselves.  If the government is willing to spend huge amount of money for the full upgrade of the Goyo and Alcaraz up to a Mellon class of upgrade, they can be a formidable escort along with the future Maestrale-class Guided Missile Frigates.

Up until now, I am still in a state of shock.  Getting the Maestrale-class Frigates were kinda expected, but arming the Goyo-class was unthinkable.  Considering that the United States removed its sensors and even its Phalanx CIWS.  Now I know the reason why the Philippine Government bought the Maestrale-class Anti-Submarine Frigate, instead of the Lupo-class Anti-Surface Frigate.  It’s because they have plans for the Gregorio del Pilar-class to be equipped with Anti-Ship Missile capability, so they don’t need the Lupo-class anymore.  Because if the Gregorio del Pilar-class Patrol Frigate will be upgraded into a Guided Missile Frigate, then the PN will be needing a Submarine Deterrent which will be the Maestrale-class Frigate.  I guess the Goyo-class will not be called a “Gunboat” by the Chinese.

And don’t forget that the Government is also in the canvassing mode for Anti-Submarine Helicopters.  Putting these helo on the back of the said boats will bring an awesome punch back into our proud Navy.  I just hope that this will continue with the help of our Working Filipinos to improve our economy so that we will have more purchasing power to buy new and more capable vessels in the future.  An Aegis-equipped Destroyer perhaps?  We’ll we need to contribute more into our economy, so keep on working and pay our taxes.  Let’s make the most of our honest government whose being led by an honest administration.

“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author

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Do We Filipinos Really Want a Full-Scale Armed Confrontation with China? Seriously?

WHILE LISTENING to the Opening Theme Song of Dragon Ball, Magic Knights Rayearth, and Flame of Recca that reminds me of my Elementary Days, I was reading the post in those Facebook Pages that is related to the Philippine Military.

I have noticed that many Filipinos who are expressing their thoughts in these pages wants to declare war and kick some Chinese asses, right now.  If I know them in person, I would say, “Hey, Hey, Hey, Stop!  Can we think and talk about this first?!  Because I don’t think that you are thinking the consequences of wanting to go to war.  Especially with the second most powerful military in the world.”

I would like to quote one of the militants during their rally in front of the People’s Republic of China Embassy (they did their rally during the weekends, which is for me, questionable.  Paano nila malalaman ang gusto ninyong sabihin kung wala sila sa opisina dahil wala silang pasok?!).

He said, “We Filipinos do not hate the Chinese people, we got Chinese people who are living here in our country, who has been helping us to grow economically.  Most of us has Chinese-Filipino friends or even relatives.  So we do not hate the Chinese people.  We just don’t like the things that are being done by the Chinese government, like bullying us for them to take Scarborough Shoal.”

I hate militants, but this guy sure has a point.  He is right, we should not hate the people and the country itself.  Admit it, we are benefiting from them as well.  They just helped us on upgrading on of our major dams here in our country.  But on the other hand, I hate the bullying tactics that their COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT are doing to us.  Their actions are purely and obviously Communists moves.  I hate them, I so hate them.  But if someone will ask me, would you like us to go to war against China?  I’d say NO.

Here some of the reasons why I WON’T say ‘Yes’ if we will go to War with China, right now:

-First, our Military Power right now (even though it’s being upgraded) still sucks.  You know what I mean.  Compare the 1-Million Strong Active Force of China to the 130,000 Strong Active Force of the Philippine Military.  So seriously, you want to go to war?

-Second, even the United States would not want to go to war with China.  Why?  Because they are a beneficiary of China’s economy as well, just like us.  They owe China, about trillions of dollars.  If a country declares war with someone, it’s debts to the opposing country will be disabled or to grow more instead if they will be defeated in war.  So if the United States would want a war with China, they will sure prepare for it first.  Because if they lose, it will be a major slap to their faces and aside from losing many fortunes from waging war, they will still need to pay China its debts, maybe higher than their actual debt since it will be a part of the Surrender Condition if they lose.  But I highly doubt that the United States will lose.   I know that they know, that they need to prepare since China’s military is still no joke.  China even has a larger active force than the United States, but the advantage of the U.S. will be it’s technology.  It will be a stalemate if they will not prepare.  So the U.S. cannot be easily dragged by us into a war against China.  There are so many things to consider.

Even the mighty U.S. needs to prepare, why we Filipinos want to wage war right away?

-Lastly, in case we go to war against the Chinese, remember one thing.  They are effing Communists.  Every town, city, province, region that they will conquer, I am sure that they will do bad and nasty things aside from shooting our soldiers down.  These includes all of the things (or maybe worse) that the Japanese did to us during the World War II like, killing babies, terrorizing villages, looting our reserves, and the worse thing that I could think of is they will rape our mother, sister, girl-friend, wife or even our very young daughter and they will make them their Comfort Women.  Do you really want that to happen again?  Let me repeat, they are Communists.  They are harsh and brutal people.  If they succeed on defeating us after waging a stupid and unprepared war against them, it will take so much toll on us more than we can imagine.

So again, do you really want to wage war against China?

BUT WHAT about if we will prepare, and think about it first?

Those things that I said earlier were the negative things that will happen if we will act like stupid people.  Let’s move on the positive things.  If we Filipinos will stand united, think the same way and think of the same thing, we will stand a chance against China.  Oh no.. China wont even have a chance against us.  We just need to prepare and not rush things.  Here, let me give you an example.

Here are some things that we could do to make sure that their Yellowish-Chinese ass would never bully us again and to win a war against them:

-First, invest in Diplomacy.  I know, I know, Diplomacy is irritating.  I know some of you will say, “Stop that Diplomacy bullshit and lets go to China and kill them all!”.  What I would do, is just to laugh at you.  Did you know how many lives were saved because of Diplomacy?  Let me give you another example (if you know the whole history of the Cold War-era, you would probably know about this).  During the Cold War-era, the Soviet Union placed Long-Range Missiles in Cuba that are pointed towards the United States.  When U.S. learned about this, DEFCON-2 was immediately issued (the highest level ever issued in the United States Military History until now) that prompted ALL NUCLEAR-ARMED BOMBERS to go airborne because World War III could be a reality anytime soon.  But because of what you called the irritating Diplomacy, the Soviet Union were convinced to remove all of the Long-Range Missiles in Cuba in a condition that the Perishing Missiles of the U.S. stationed in Europe and pointed to the Soviet Union, would be removed as well.  Thanks to the Diplomacy that you hated, our parents had never seen World War III.

-Second, we need to show the world that we are not beggars especially in-terms of Military Equipment.  Come on, guys.  Many of you hated the U.S. when they gave their F-16s to Indonesia instead to us.  Many have said, “The U.S. are getting so much out of us and now they just gave us a weaponless Hamilton-class cutter instead of Fighter Jets?”.  If you have an open mind and well informed about how the U.S. thinks, you wouldn’t say that.  First thing, does the U.S. really benefited from the Philippines compared to the perks that they are getting from other countries?  We even kicked their butts and their bases during the Cory Aquino-era just to appease and to make peace with the Communists!  We let these Communist a-holes to poison our minds, that’s why when I talk to a ordinary Filipino, he will tell me that he hates the United States because they oppress people, and I say “What?!”.  And whenever a single warship or a submarine of the U.S. makes a port call just to replenish, militants are already storming the U.S. Embassy acting like the U.S. invaded us.  But instead of getting rid of these Communist Militants, our countrymen even elected some in the Congress and now one of them wants to be in our Senate.  So you think that the United States will just give us what we need?  We need to prove to them that if they will give us weapons, we will not point these weapons against them in the future, just what happened to Iran right now.  What we need to do is to show our seriousness, lets just follow their instructions for the mean time.  Their first instruction, familiarize ourselves in handling modern military equipment.  They have given us the Hamilton-class cutters as a starter, so our Navy would know how to sail using a modern ship.  Then they have given permission to South Korea to bid to our LIFT needs.  You know that if U.S. doesn’t want you to be armed, we would not have any bidders at all except from Russia and the Chinese, right?  So we got TA-50s now where our pilots can train how to use Modern Warplanes.  Then they asked Italy to provide us with modern and armed semi-modern warships like the Maestrale-class Frigates for our Navy Sailors to learn how to fire modern weapons like SAMs and ASMs.  If we were able to prove to them that we are damn serious about arming ourselves, then the new and other modern equipments will follow.  But we also need to rely on our own.  We need to buy those weapons using our own money, not from Uncle Sam.  We could even continue the stalled projects of the Martial Law-era, like the Indigenous Missiles and Multiple-Launched Rocket Systems that we were trying to develop before.  We just need to support our government and not to join the militants on their rally and electing their proxies and putting them in a government seat.

(Hey, wanna know why Indonesia got F-16s from the U.S.?  As I have mentioned before on my previous posts about the TA-50, we have lost our dog-fighting and fast jet operation capability.  And once you lost it, its not that easy to get it back.  It’s just like trust.  So we need to go back to the Basics, we already have SF-260s.  So now we got pilots that can fly, then here is the TA-50 for your Fighter and Air Combat Maneuvering Training.  Indonesia, even a third world country, has retained their F-16A and Bs even they are too old and uneconomical to maintain.  This enables them to retain their skills on maintaining and flying Fast Jets.  But since we decommissioned our F-5s last 2005 without an immediate replacement, we lost that ability.  Did you know that we were the ones who trained some of the Air Forces here in Southeast Asia to fly Fast Jets?  That’s how it’s painful for our Air Force when we decommissioned our F-5s.)

-Lastly, we really need to look like we are being bullied by the Chinese government and we are helpless against China’s might.  The International Community needs to see that, so that we could get their sympathy and support.  If they see that Filipinos are acting like the aggressors and even teasing China, then we will not get their support.  Remember, even we were able to complete the whole modernization of our Military, we wont win.  Even the United States will not win, if they will fight China single-handed.  We need the support of the International Community.  And how would we get that support if the observers of other countries will see our posts in our Facebook Pages that we want to go to war against China?  We will look like ruthless and stupid people and we don’t want that to happen.  Let’s stay HUMBLE, ALWAYS PRAY, and be CALM when posting your opinion in a Facebook Page.  If China will never stop bullying us even though we were trying our best to be humble, we don’t need to wage war anymore.  The International Community will do that for us.  We don’t even need to deploy one single soldier into the battlefield, the International Community will do that for us.

So again, lets stay humble.  Okay?!

“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author

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Issues on Funding Delays The New AFP Modernization Bill

Funding issue stalls military upgrade bill -(by BusinessWorld http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=Funding-issue-stalls-military-upgrade-bill&id=57709)

POSSIBLE DISAGREEMENTS with the Executive on tapping royalties from natural gas operations prompted the bicameral conference committee to suspend deliberations on the military modernization fund bill, a lawmaker said.

“We suspended the conference and agreed to get more input on that particular provision,” Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, Senate panel chairman, said in a text message yesterday.

House Bill No. 6410 proposes “a reasonable amount from the share of the national government in the Malampaya oil and gas exploration and such other similar or related explorations for energy” for the upgrade program.

The Senate did not include such funding source in its version due to opposition from the departments of Energy, and Budget and Management, said Mr. Lacson.

Forcing the issue might prompt President Benigno S. C. Aquino III to veto the bill, he noted.

Mr. Lacson further said during the meeting on Wednesday that the term reasonable amount on the funding requirement is “very vague.”

Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo G. Biazon, head of the House panel, then suggested to replace the term with 35%.

Mr. Lacson said the committee will again meet next week to further deliberate on the priority bill.

The house version proposed a 15-year modernization program, with a ₱75-billion budget for the first five years. Senate Bill No. 3164, on the other hand, has earmarked ₱50 billion for the first five years. The previous Armed Forces modernization program under Republic Act No, 7898 ended in 2010.

Upgrading the military’s capability has been considered an urgent issue given the territorial conflict at the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea) which is reported to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

Tensions in particular rose with China in April over the Scarborough Shoal west of Luzon island.

AUTHOR’S ASSESSMENTS:

This issue is simple and full of political shit! Their only problem is a part of the law that says “a reasonable amount from the share of the national government in the Malampaya oil and gas exploration and such other similar or related explorations for energy”.  Senator Lacson and other Executive Department agencies want it to be specific.  What their concern is right, but it should not be a cause of delay.  We need this bill enacted now!

The DND cannot proceed with the acquisition of the T/A-50, Maestrale-class Frigates, MBT and IFV, and other equipments if the bill wont be enacted immediately.  The Chinese are already in our doorsteps.  So lets unite and let our government officials know that we want the AFP Modernization Bill enacted as soon as possible.  We cannot afford delays!

And on my own opinion, the phrase “reasonable amount” stated on the bill is just right.  Cong. Biazon proposed that we allot 35% of Malampaya Gas Project revenue to the AFP Modernization.  I don’t agree with that.  Because if that 35% ceiling became a part of a enacted AFP Modernization Bill, and if  a war broke out, the government will not be able to use all of the Malampaya funds to acquire modern military equipment even it is already an emergency.  Because it will be technically unlawful since it only stated on the Bill that only 35% will be used for the AFP Modernization.  The Senate even proposed that instead of P75 Billion for the first five years of the Modernization, it should only be P50 Billion.  I say, what the heck?!  That is only gonna be enough to buy the main equipments that we need.  How about the minor but important things as well?  Like upgrading the bases and facilities?  For example, we bought the T/A-50, but in 10 years it will be irreparable instead of 15-20 years because the outdated facilities (e.g. Hangars and Ground Crew) cannot accommodate and maintain the requirements of a Modern Aircraft.  But that’s just me.  If you think what our politicians are right, I will respect that.

But just to conclude this, lets support this bill and tell our Bicameral Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) to stop the bureaucracy horse-shit enact this bill as soon as possible!

“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author

(Sorry for the words.  I am just pissed on what they were doing.)

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Philippine Navy To Buy 3 New Ships and Installs New Coast Watch Stations in Mindanao

NEW UPDATE from the Philippine Navy.

An official of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Command (NFEMC) said the Philippine Navy is planning to procure three new ships to boost the country’s maritime and territorial defense.

Speaking in Wednesday’s Club 888 forum, Captain Robert Empedrad, deputy commander for fleet operations and commander naval task force seahawk of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, said two of three planned purchases are frigate warships that will be bought from Italy next year.

Empedrad said the warship, which is as big as BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is expected be delivered by April next year.

“It’s only now that we have fast-paced modernization,” he said.

The areas of operation for these ships will cover the entire Philippines, especially in some priority areas where there are maritime threats, including poaching of fishes, smuggling of illegal firearms and drugs, and piracy.

Empedrad said the NFEMC established six Coast Watch Stations in strategic locations in Matium, Maasim, Balut Island in Saranggani Province, Tinaca Point, and Jose Abad Santos in Davao del Sur, and Cape San Agustin in Davao Oriental.

These stations are equipped with high-tech equipment that can monitor any water vessel intruding Mindanao seas. In this way, NFEMC believes this will mitigate maritime crimes.

“If there are intruders entering Mindanao seas, the coast watch stations will report it to Coast Watch Center in Camp Panacan. Then, we will send our ships to the area to respond to it,” he said.”

Each coast watch station is worth about P100 million. -Antonio L. Colina IV (SunStar)

AUTHOR’S ASSESSMENT:

I was shocked when I first saw this article from SunStar.  Three Ships?  I thought there were only 2 ships that we will be getting next year?!  Well aside from the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which is technically ALREADY acquired this year.  And it is just undergoing refurbishment in the U.S., that is why it is not here yet.  So no one should say that the third vessel will be the Alcaraz.

So three ships, huh!  I just hope that this is really going to happen and lets just wait for another update.  I also hope that the third ship will be a Lupo-class Frigate (right image) from Italy.  Since the 2 Maestrale-class Frigates (left image) that we will be getting first are more into Anti-Submarine Warfare, and the Lupo-class Frigate are more into Anti-Surface Warfare.  But these two classes of Italian Frigates are still technically Multi-Role Frigates (you can see the difference on the image provided. even the location of the Surface-to-Air Missiles are not the same), they just have some sort of a specialty to distinguish its role in the Italian Navy.

About the Coast Watch Stations.  They are reinforcing the surface monitoring in the southern part of the Philippines (locations of current stations can be seen in the image on the right side).  I think the reason is, because some months ago, a Chinese Missile-armed Frigate has ran-aground on an island/reef/shoal only a couple of miles near Palawan.  That is a face slap on the Navy because that Foreign Warship is not only in our Exclusive Economic Zone, they are actually so near in our doorsteps, that they can already kiss the door!  So this action of the Government is right.

I just hope that the Communist Militants will shut their mouths!  Because if this news circulated, I know that they got something negative to throw on the Military again!

“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author

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The Story behind the T/A-50 Golden Eagle Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) for the Philippine Air Force

MANY PEOPLE have seen this review of mine in the Modernize the Philippine Air Force Facebook Page.  But I will be making a revised review of one of the most popular acquisition of our DND and AFP to date.

June 09, 2012 marks the historic day in the Philippine Defense, when our Department of National Defense announced that they had chosen the T/A-50 Lead-in Fighter Trainer (a variant of T-50 Golden Eagle) of South Korea as the best choice for the Advanced Supersonic Lead-in Fighter Trainer requirement of the Philippine Air Force.  This is the first time in decades that we will be getting Brand New Fast Jets since we bought our F-5s in the 1960s.

ImageThe TA-50 (formerly A-50) is a supersonic advanced jet trainer jointly developed by Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd. (South Korea) and Lockheed Martin (United States of America).  Highly derived from the F-16 Fighting Falcon, this aircraft was made because of the experience of KAI on building KF-16s and for the preparation on building their 5th generation aircraft, the KF-X.

During the Scarborough Shoal standoff between the Philippine and Chinese Vessels, Imageit was realized by the Filipino people how their Armed Forces is Imagepoorly equipped.  Before the standoff, there were only two Philippine Naval Ships that patrols Scarborough Shoal.  The WWII vintage BRP Rajah Humabon PF-11 Frigate (former USS Atherton) and the newly acquired 55 year old BRP Gregorio del Pilar PF-15 Frigate (former USCGC Hamilton) which is poorly armed because it only has a 76mm Oto Melara Naval Gun (as seen on the image).  And the Navy is also patrolling the Shoal using only their propeller-driven and defenseless BN-2 Islander Aircraft.  There was also an instance that there was a ImageUnknown Aircraft intruding our airspace during the stand off.  It was detected by the radar commissioned by the government for Civilian Passenger Aircrafts.  The officials said that the aircraft was traveling a HIGH SPEEDS and they just turned on their transponder when they were near the Chinese Ships in the Shoal.  The Philippine Air Force were so frustrated after this incident happened.  Because they know that someone is intruding our airspace and they cannot do anything but watch.  Our Air Force has only one Combat Aircraft, the S-211 Basic Jet Trainer, that can only go no more than 360 knots or 414 mph.

Concerned Filipinos were worried about the safety of our soldiers/sailors/airmen who are patrolling the area because they are VULNERABLE to attacks.  Patrolling the Chinese Warship infested waters, using only a propeller-driven aircraft and Digital Cameras on taking photos of the Vessels intruding our waters, is very dangerous.  Because you need fly low and to fly near the Chinese ships to take photos.  If a missile is fired at the Islander Aircraft of the Navy, the pilot and its crew will be history!  Because the Aircraft is slow, cant make hard turns, and they don’t have Missile Countermeasures like Chaff and Flares.  The Air Force cannot intercept Fighter Aircraft that are intruding our territory because they know for sure that if they go near 150 meters, they are absolutely dead.

Because of these circumstances, the Government realized the needs of the Military. One of them is anImage aircraft that can fly faster than speed of sound, intercept any intruders, can fire Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface Missiles, and to dogfight with any flying thing that stands in its path.  So we turned into our oldest and mightiest ally, the United States.  We asked for 2 squadrons of F-16 But the U.S. knows that if they will arm us right now, this will anger China.  The U.S. owes China for about Trillions of Dollars, and they cannot afford to anger the Dragon right as of this moment.  They WILL fight the Dragon, but not now.  So the U.S. refused our request for F-16s (not publicly because they don’t want their allies to think that the U.S. doesn’t have a Word of Honor).

But they didn’t actually refused our request on helping us arm our Military.  Using the U.S. influence on other countries, they asked countries that is not fully relying in China to arm us instead (This part is just an observation on what really happened).  Then here goes Italy, South Korea, Russia, Czech Republic and even U.K. that bids to our needs for Lead-in Fighter Trainer.

But wait, there were so many Netizens complaining about the Lead-in Fighter Trainer.  They said, why Imageare we getting a LIFT?  Why don’t we just get a true Multi-Role Fighter?  The answer is simple, we lost our ability on flying fast jets.  There was a comment that I have seen in a forum saying, “Once you stop flying fighter planes, it is not easy to get that skill back. You need to go back to basics.”.  On my own opinion, he is right.  Most of our F-5 Fighter Pilots were now holding high ranks in the Military and some of them were already retired.  We can’t just put them back into the cockpit of a Fast-moving Jet.  Aside from flying a Fighter Jet, there are so many things to learn as well like Dogfighting since you need to learn how to do Air Combat Maneuvering, the pilots need to be familiarize themselves with the new and high-tech Avionics of a modern aircraft, learn to restrain G-Forces, and to Manage and Fire its Modern Armaments.  The facilities needs to be upgraded as well like the Hangars, and the ground crew needs to be trained on handling sophisticated Jets.  So that is why we need to get a LIFT first and then once our pilots mastered the art of aerial warfare, then we can move into the MRFs.

The contenders for the Lead-in Fighter Trainer are:

ImageM-346 Master (derived from Yak-130) – Italy (Alenia Aermacchi)

ImageYak-130 Mitten – Russia (Yakolev Design Bureau)

ImageBAE Hawk – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (British Aerospace)

ImageT-50/TA-50 Golden Eagle – South Korea (Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.)

The DND selected the South Korean Aircraft because it met the requirements of the Air Force for the LIFT.  One of the primary reason why this baby was selected is because it can go Supersonic while retaining the Armaments that the aircraft’s co-contenders have as well, like firing Air-to-Air Missiles, Rockets, Dumb and Cluster Bombs and Air-to-Surface Missile.

TA-50 Specifications from the Lockheed Martin Website and Wikipedia.Image

Length     43.1 ft /13.14 m
Height     16.2 ft /4.94 m
Wingspan     31 ft /9.45 m
Weight empty     14,00 lb /6,354 kg
Maximum weight     29,700 lb /13,500 kg
Speed     Mach 1.5
Engine thrust     17.700 lb /8,045 kg

Armament:
Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) General Dynamics A-50 3-barreled rotary cannon
Hardpoints: Total: 7
Rockets: Hydra 70, LOGIR
Missiles: Air-to-air: AIM-9 Sidewinder
Air-to-ground: AGM-65 Maverick
Bombs: Mk 82, Mk 83, and Mk 84 general purpose bombs; CBU-97/105 sensor fuzed weapons.

CONCLUSION: On a final note, this is the best solution to the military’s needs, especially the Air Force needs.  It provides the quality training for the future MRFs, but at the same time giving us an Interception Capability because of its Speed and Air-to-Air Missile firing features.  But it still lacks something, the capability to dispense Missile Countermeasures like Chaff for Radar-guided Missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-7 Sparrow, and Flares for Heat-seeking Infrared Missiles like the AIM-9 Sidewinder.  But in general, this is still a bad-ass aircraft. I do hope though, that we wont stick with this.  Just like what happened to the earlier version of the AFP Modernization Law when we bought the S-211s, after buying those aircraft, it stopped there and no further acquisition followed to augment the current Air Force fleet and to replace the F-5s.

So again, lets hope that the history wont repeat itself.  It will be possible for us to get an MRF, but without your support our dear countrymen, it will not happen!  As I have said on my last post, support your Armed Forces.  No funds or modern equipment can match the support of your own countrymen.

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Territorial Spats Forces the Philippines to Revive its Plan to Upgrade its Defense

EVER since the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards, the Philippine-American War, World War II, up to the Communist and Secessionist Insurgents.  We always had one problem that leads to our defeat… the Lack of Weapons and Ammunition.

If you could just remember, this is one of the reasons why the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards took so long.  Even though there are only a few numbers of Spanish Military compared to the Male Population of the Philippines.  Just because of lack of weapons, the revolution took so long.  Andres and his men are always remembered holding a Jungle Bolo instead of a Rifle.  For some, this is kinda heroic because you are fighting soldiers with guns by just using a Jungle Bolo.  But for me, that is stupidity.  If they had just listened to Jose Rizal that the Filipinos were not yet ready to revolt against the Spaniards, the Katipunan would not have suffered many loss.  But that was the past, we should move on.  The Filipinos are still in the Learning Curve process by this time.

Then the Philippines declared Independence dated June 12, 1898 after kicking out the Spaniards.  But another race became interested in our lands.  The Americans.  I don’t know what their real reason when they first came to the Philippines (because Magellan, aside from Circumnavigating the Globe is also looking for a place where he could get Herbs), but some said that they want to help us to be able to stand on our own and also for other European countries not to invade us since the Spaniards already left the country.    The war was started because of many reasons, one is General Otis’s actions and attitude, and the 4 Armed Filipinos who went to San Juan Bridge and cocked their guns after being told by the Americans to halt, and other stupid reasons.  But one thing is for sure, there is only one reason why we lose, we still lack weapons to match the Americans.

And…. the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines.  This is not actually a war between the Japanese and the Filipinos technically, we were just involved because we are under the Americans.  The last battle that the Americans and the Filipinos did, was the Battle of Corregidor.  And I think you know what was the reason why the Americans and the Filipinos lose this part of war in the Pacific Theater… again Lack of Weapons and Ammo.

In the present day, we have a stable government that has funds (our budget for 2013 will be P2.3 Trillion), our economy is one of the fastest growing economy in Asia only 2nd to China, and we now officially have a Military.  The Military has one primary mission, defend the country from external forces.  So this means that internal issues should just be a piece of cake, but we have been battling the insurgents since the end of World War II.

But that is not the problem now, we got a BIGGER problem.  The Chinese are now engaging us in a territorial spat.  China has the LARGEST military in the world in terms of Active Personnel, and they have the 2nd largest defense budget in the whole world.  The 150,000 strong Armed Forces of the Philippines is helpless and frustrated because they cannot perform their mandate because of the problem that we have since the Spanish-era, the lack of weapons.  What is worst? We lack MODERN weapons that can at least, counter the threats imposed to us by the Chinese.  Many Presidents have come and go, but the Military is still using their worn out assets.  Our Navy Destroyer-Escort, the BRP (Barko/Bapor ng Republika ng Pilipinas) Rajah Humabon PF-11 frigate was even used by the the U.S. in their campaign in Normandy during the World War II.  That is how our military sucked.

But this is now being worked out by our current administration led by President Benigno S. Aquino III.  At first, we acquired the former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class Cutter the USCGC Hamilton and USCGC Dallas which in turn became the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz respectively.   But we cannot use this to deter China and stop them from poaching into our waters since the Chinese fishermen are always accompanied by Chinese FLEC ships and sometimes Chinese Missile-armed Frigates, which makes our new Navy Warships… useless.  Because our new warships only has one main weapon, its 76mm Oto Melara Naval Gun.  These Hamilton-class cutters are no match to the Missile-armed warships of the Chinese.  But wait, we are not yet done, because there is more!  Our Department of National Defense is now in talks with the Italian Government regarding our purchase of the Maestrale-class Missile Armed Frigates.  Along with the Hamilton-class cutters, these frigates can patrol our waters with confidence.  Since they can deter any incoming missile, and they can retaliate once attacked by anyone.  And they will not only rely on their Naval Gun because they can fire Missiles that can blow anything on the face of the earth.

There is so much to tell.  We now have ordered Lead-in Fighter Trainers for our Air Force that has the ability to intercept Aircrafts that are intruding our airspace, the DND is also canvassing for Main Battle Tanks for the Army, and the media has just reported that there is now an open bidding for Guns that will be given to our Marines.  But I will be giving the details on my next post.

What I want my readers to have in mind right now, is to literally support our Military.  They need us.  Lets not make the same mistakes over and over again.  We lost too many soldiers since the Spanish-era up to now, only because they cannot protect themselves because they do not have a weapon or their helicopters are crashing because it is a flying coffin.  Our government cannot allocate a budget into the Military without the proper consent and support of the people.  If we will keep on hating our Military, they will never be able to perform their mandate, which is to PROTECT US.  So lets help them in performing their mandate because it is for our own security and welfare, its and investment.  Lets not listen to those militant scumbags like the ones in the Congress right now.  That are always trying to prevent any modernization plans of the Government for our Military.

Remember, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not the Government’s Military.  It is YOUR Military.  Support them, Trust them, and Love them.

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