Wednesday 26 April 2017

Will the Armed Forces of the Philippines fully modernise under the Duterte Presidency?

In the 1950’s to 1960’s the Philippines was regarded as having the second(2nd) best Navy and Air Force in Asia, Japan was the first.

Philippine Navy ships and Philippine Air Force planes of course are all hand me-downs or second hand coming from the so called generosity of the United States of America, and these so called hand-me-down ships mind you are relatively new, since the Second World War had ended only a decade or two earlier.

There were plenty of Naval ships- Philippine Navy ships proudly patrolled our seas unchallenged. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) jets/propeller driven aircrafts made themselves known in our skies.
BRP Sierra Madre, a World War 2 LST 542-class tank landing ship originally built for the United States Navy.The Philippine government deliberately had her run aground on Second Thomas Shoal( Ayungin Shoal) in the Spratly's in 1999 in response to the Chinese reclamation of Mischief Reef.Since then a detachment of Filipino Marines have been stationed on board the Sierra madre to provide a continual military presence at the site.The BRP is still considered a commissioned Philippine Navy vessel( photo by

What happened since then? What is the current Philippine Air Force and Navy?

Answer: We have so little, as compared to our South East Asian neighbors is the answer to be subtle about it, but to be blunt – the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the most under-equipped military force in the Asian region. Imagine,the Philippine Navy are still using some of the WW2 era battleships.


  •      Overly depended on the United States of America, who wouldn’t be? we are hosting the Clark Air Base in Pampanga which was touted to be the largest American Base outside the mainland, and the Naval Base in Subic Bay ,the largest overseas military installation of the United States Armed Forces after Clark Air Base; &
  •      Corruption of our past national leaders.

The past administrations lack the foresight in modernizing the Armed Forces since they have relied to the military shield being provided then by the two American bases.

Budget for military equipments went into the pockets of the military and/or public officials.

Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program (RAFPMP)

The Department of National Defense (DND) thru Republic Act No.10349( Dec. 11, 2012) also known as the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program (RAFPMP)- extends the modernization program for another 15 years with an initial budget of 75 billion pesos for the first five years in order to continue modernizing all the branches of the AFP. The amended law was made under the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III. This new law is aimed at building a defense system capable of addressing the assessed threats(Wikipedia).

It is the wish of every Filipino, to have a decent, credible Armed Forces, an Armed Forces that can meet head on the challenges that are very capable of patrolling our seas and skies.

If corruption can be eliminated or at the very least minimized by this administration, then hopefully the country can buy all the military arms and equipment we need.

For now…..

Let’s us all try to relax and watch in envy China’s growing military prowess…
China's newly-built aircraft carrier,built entirely on its own(April 26, 2017). Chinese naval strategist see the air craft carrier program as having a naval power in the Pacific region that is commensurate with China's status.( photo by China's Xinhua News Agency)

Just off the press- China has just launched its second air craft carrier, built entirely by the Chinese a clear signal to the world of its technical sophistication on its defense industry.

According to Chinese reports, the new, as yet unnamed, carrier will carry 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-33, along with 12 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning and rescue operations. 

The new carrier is part of an ambitious expansion of the Chinese navy, which is projected to have a total of 265-273 warships, submarines and logistics vessels by 2020, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Naval Analysis. That compares with 275 deployable battle force ships presently in the U.S. Navy, China's primary rival in the Asia Pacific.

China has offered little information about the roles it expects its carriers to play, although its planning appears to be evolving as it gains more experience. The Liaoning was initially touted mainly as an experimental and training platform, but in December was declared to be combat-ready and has taken part in live-firing exercises in the South China Sea.

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