Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Amphibious Warfare Capabilities of the Philippine Navy - Past, Present and Future

Being an archipelagic country with more than 7,100 islands comprising its land mass, the Philippines is a natural geography for use of the sea for transporting people, goods, and services. The government and the Philippine Navy knows of this strength and weakness, and utmost attention is given to improve on the capabilities in this regard. MaxDefense discusses the amphibious capabilities of the Philippine Navy on this entry, a short history of its beginnings, its current assets, and upcoming assets to beef up its dwindling fleet.

One of the two Bacolod City-class of the Philippine Navy. The 2 ships are currently the most significant and one of the newest amphibious naval assets of the fleet. 

Post War Surge:
Philippine Naval Patrol:
After World War II, the newly formed Philippine Naval Patrol (PNP, forefather of the Philippine Navy) acknowledges this by making priority to build-up its Amphibious and Sealift transport capabilities. Requests were made to the US government for the transfer of mothballed landing ships used during World War II, with several Landing Ships Tank (LST) and landing crafts transferred to the PNP in 1947. Some of the ships were even used to transport troops and supplies from the Philippines and Japan to South Korea in support of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea in the 1950s.

New Philippine Navy:
As the Philippine Offshore Patrol became the Philippine Navy, more former US Navy LSTs were transferred through the years. The Philippine Navy's amphibious capabilities peaked in the late 1970s, with the fleet having more than 20 LSTs, several Medium Landing Ships (LSM) and landing crafts of all sizes, and a few amphibious support vessels. All these assets were hand-me downs from the US government, or were former South Vietnamese Navy units handed-over by the US to the Philippines after escaping the fall of South Vietnam in the late 1970s.

The Philippine Navy's landing ship tank BRP Benguet (LT-507), which was the former USN USS Daviess County (LST-692). She was launched in March 1944 and is still in active service 71 years later.
Photo taken from Navsource.

Aside from amphibious support and transport duties, these vessels double up as patrol vessels, deployed in support of securing the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) including areas of interest like the Kalayaan Group of Islands, and for Search and Rescue Operations. They were even used as offshore helicopter landing platforms for Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Navy helicopters, as naval gunfire provider during operations near waters, and for naval blockades against rebels and terrorists escaping from military ground operations.It once had the largest amphibious warfare fleet in Southeast Asia, all together capable of deploying several brigades worth of troops and warfighting assets.

The BRP Tausug (AT-25), a Landing Craft Utility (LCU) of the Philippine Navy. This is also a former US Navy asset handed-over to the Philippines.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

Decline in Amphibious Capabilities:
With the US bases in Clark and Subic permanently closed down in 1991, the continuous military support by the US government for the Philippine Armed Forces came to a halt. With this also affected the Philippine Navy's capabilities to have their ships repaired, spare parts acquired, and financial assistance to support ageing assets. One by one, most of the naval assets of the Philippine Navy, including most of its amphibious warfare fleet, were left for disrepair, and most were either cannibalized to maintain other ships or were sold as scrap.

The BRP Davao Oriental (LT-506) in 1991. The ship was sold as scrap a few years later.
Photo taken by Edison Sy, taken from Navsource.

The BRP Agusan del Sur (LT-54) in 1986 when it was offered for sale.
Photo taken by Edison Sy, taken from Navsource.

The only new asset the Philippine Navy got in the 1990s were two Logistics Support Vessels (LSV), now called collectively as the Bacolod City-class LSV, from the US government as part of their military assistance bundled with the US bases rents. This was not enough to replace dozens of assets that were retired after long years of service. Additional assets acquired in the past few years include two locally-made Large Utility Landing Crafts (LCU), now called the BRP Tagbanua and BRP Manobo.

Currently, the Philippine Navy's amphibious capabilities are far less capable than it was decades ago. Of the dozens of ex-US Navy World War II era LST, LSM, Landing Crafts Utility (LCU), only a struggling few remain in active service while only a few new assets replaced all the retired ships of the past.

Current Amphibious Warfare Capabilities of the Philippine Navy:

The PN of today have the following amphibious warfare vessels in its inventory:

Landing Ship Tank:
Only the BRP Laguna (LT-501) and the BRP Benguet (LT-507), both former US Navy World War II era tank landing ships remain in PN service. Both are becoming more difficult to maintain, as they require several dock repairs due to poor hull condition and ageing mechanical and electrical systems. Both are in working condition but require replacements very soon. 

The BRP Laguna (LT-501) docked probably in the Visayas region. 2 of the class remain in service with the Philippine Navy.

Logistics Support Vessels:

Probably the most capable transport assets of the Philippine Navy, the two Bacolod City-class LSVs, the BRP Bacolod City (LC-550) and the BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) were based on the US Army's Frank Beeson-class transport ships. The Philippine Navy version has a helicopter landing deck on the aft. Originally the LC-551 was to be named BRP Cagayan de Oro City, but with Fidel Ramos' victory as president-elect in 1992, politics came in and changes were made to change the name to a city from Pangasinan, thus becoming BRP Dagupan City.

The BRP Bacolod City (LC-550), the lead ship of the Bacolod City-class LSV, during the at-sea phase of the Balikatan 2008 military exercises.
Photo taken from US Navy c/o Wikipedia.

Utility Landing Crafts:

The PN operates two large utility landing crafts (LCU), both locally made but of different design. The BRP Tagbanua (AT-296) was built by Philippine Iron Construction and Marine Corporation with Propmech as its integrator. The ship was a product of a PN project for a new class of LCU that is expected to form the backbone of the intra-theater sealift capability and a cheaper alternative to the LST and LSV. Unlike the Tagbanua, the other ship BRP Manobo (AT-297), came in to service quietly and was based on a different design. Both ships are relatively new, being both being commissioned during the term of President Aquino.

The BRP Tagbanua, the newest amphibious transport asset of the Philippine Navy.

The PN also operates smaller utility landing crafts that were handed over by the US government decades ago. Of the many that once served the PN, only three ships remain: the BRP Subanon (AT-291), BRP Bagobo (AT-293), and BRP Tausug (AT-295). All are of the US Mark 6 design that were first put to action during World War II.

Other Assets:
Aside from LCUs, there are also several smaller landing crafts being used by the Philippine Navy, mostly the small Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) which are carried by larger amphibious assault ships. Although not really considered as amphibious warfare assets, the PN also operates six Multipurpose Attack Crafts (MPAC) in two sub-classes, which are high speed boats with capability to deploy infantry for insertion missions. More of this boats are being procured by the PN in the coming years, with a 3-unit tender expected to be completed by 2015.

One of the Philippine Navy's six Multipurpose Attack Craft. These are used by the PN as patrol and insertion assets.

Looking at the Future: The Multirole Vessel Saga:

Fast forward to the mid 1990s when the AFP Modernization Act of 1995 was passed into law, part of which were the plans to acquire amphibious vessels to replace those old ones still in service with the PN. Although no specifics were made, the idea points to helicopter capable amphibious landing platforms, either a helipad-equipped landing ship tank, landing ship dock (LSD) or landing platform dock (LPD). 

1990s - The Singaporean Endurance-class LST/LPD:
Plans for a helicopter capable platform was further reinforced with the Republic of Singapore Navy's introduction in the late 1990s of the Endurance-class landing ship tank, which is actually more of an LPD with an LST bow opening. The Philippine Navy sent officers to learn more about the ship as planning dictates towards something similar for its own acquisition plans.

One of the Endurance-class LPD of the Republic of Singapore Navy.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.

Hopes were high on a possible contract for a unit or two with ST Engineering, until lack of funding shot down the plans. The quoted pricing made by the Singaporeans moved up as the Philippine government failed to quickly act on the funding, until the PN can't afford the ship anymore. This was the first of several attempts by the PN to get its hands to a modern amphibious warfare vessel.

The PN continuously looked for ways to acquire a similar vessel but has always looked at the Endurance-class as its basis, until a cheaper alternative came along.

Late 2000s - Arroyo Administration's Multirole Vessels, and Strategic Sealift Vessel Part 1:
During the term of President Gloria Arroyo, plans were made again to acquire at least 1 Multirole Vessel (MRV), which is actually an LPD bundled together with the essential Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) and combat capable equipment which includes a mobile hospital, lorries, landing crafts and amphibious assault vehicles. Several models were taken into consideration, including the Spanish Galicia-class, the Singaporean Endurance-class, and the Makassar-class built by the Koreans for the Indonesians.

An MRV package (1 ship plus all ancillaries) was worth Php 5 billion, as set by the Department of National Defense after their own study and evaluation. Eventually the Philippine Navy planned to get two, both from South Korea possibly using a derivative of Daesun's Makassar-class design, and will be paid by Multi-Year Obligation Agreement (MYOA) which is an financial assistance plan that allows the Philippine government to pay for the product by installment for a few years.

The PN's MRV project during the term of former president Gloria Arroyo.
Photo taken from

The plan was eventually cancelled as President Benigno Aquino III assumed office and a new policy on re-checking all deals entered by the Arroyo administration was made. The new administration believed that the MRV deal was overpriced and places the Philippine government at a disadvantage.

(More of the MRV project on the link here.)

Aside from the MRV, the Arroyo Administration also started a plan to acquire a so-called Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV), the first time the term was used in a project. The plan calls for the acquisition of a Japanese second-hand civilian Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessel for troop and vehicle transport around the archipelago and is an interim solution until an MRV will be available for the Philippine Navy. The proposal was made by the Center for Naval Leadership and Excellence, and a specific vessel was already eyed awaiting for approval and funding for the PN.

A Japanese Ro-Ro Vessel similar to this was planned for acquisition as the initial Strategic Sealift Vessel project.
Photo taken from

The project was also shelved due to the Philippine government's failure to immediately fund the project, and the eyed vessel was sold to another entity. No further attempt was made to look for another Ro-Ro vessel, and instead a new plan was made that calls for the integration of the MRV and SSV project into one, and this is what we now call the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) project of the Aquino Administration.

(More of the SSV Ro-Ro on the link here)

Early 2010s - The Current Strategic Sealift Vessel:
The cancellation of the previous MRV and SSV projects paved way to a revised project, closely resembling the MRV project but without the package for ancillaries included which were decided to be acquired separately. This is now the Strategic Sealift Vessel that we know now.

Instead of a government to government route, the DND decided to hold a tender for the 2 ships with a budget of Php 4 billion. The technical specifications released were closely aligned to the Makassar-class LPD used by the Indonesian Navy. Several bidders gave interest although only ultimately only 2 entities submitted - Korea's Daesun which is the original builder of the Makassar-class, and Indonesia's PT PAL which built the Banjarmasin-class, itself a product of Daesun's technology transfer agreement with PT PAL. The Indonesian company later on won the bidding after Daesun's bid was disqualified for lack of supporting documents.

This was said to be the final design of the Philippine Navy's SSV.
Photo taken from website.

The Philippine Navy's specs for the SSV was previously discussed in an older MaxDefense blog, with the link provided HERE. Compared to the previous MRV project, only the 2 landing crafts will remain as part of the contract, while the rest like the Amphibious Assault Vehicles were offered for bidding later on (which was won by South Korea's Samsung Techwin with the KAAV-7).

The first of class, which is still unnamed, held the first steel cutting ceremony last January 22, 2015, and the is expected to be delivered to the PN on or before May 2016. The second of the class is expected to start construction by mid-2015 and will be delivered by mid-2017. The Philippine Navy's Desired Force Mix whitepaper previously indicated the need for 4 SSVs, so it is probable that the PN will order 2 more similar ships in the future.

Photo taken from the 1st steel cutting ceremony of "SSV-1" last January 22, 2015.
Photot taken from website.

Additional Used Amphibious-Capable Assets:
Aside from the two Strategic Sealift Vessels and their complementary landing crafts, the Philippine Navy were able to seal deals from friendly countries to transfer or sell their excess landing crafts. 

Korean LCU:
The first that came out is from South Korea, with a donation for an unnamed landing craft utility. MaxDefense believes it is a retired Mulgae-class LCU of the Republic of Korea Navy. There are still unconfirmed news that a second unit is being requested, although the news for the Korean transfers are still shady as of this writing. 

MaxDefense believes that the Koreans will transfer one of their retired Mulgae-class LCU, similar to the photo above.

Australian Balikpapan-class LCH:
The second batch of upcoming assets comes from Australia, with the donation of two retired Balikpapan-class Heavy Landing Crafts (LCH), the former HMAS Brunei and HMAS Tarakan. Both were donated by the Australian government and will be fully refurbished and delivered to the Philippine Navy by May 2015. In addition, the Australian government offered to sell three more retired Balikpapan-class LCH, the former HMAS Balikpapan, HMAS Wewak and HMAS Betano, with the offer accepted by the Philippine government at salvage prices.

Several Balikpapan-class heavy landing crafts during an amphibious assault exercises under the Royal Australian Navy. The Philippine Navy will be receiving a total of 5 units.
Photo taken from the Royal Australian Navy website.

With all these incoming assets, it's still not too late for the Philippine Navy. There are even plans to acquire more transport and amphibious assets from other countries, both new and used, due to their capability to transport goods during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. Being amphibious warfare assets, their primary mission is to bring in troops and assets by sea during combat operations, so these assets are very important for an archipelagic country like the Philippines.


  1. We really need to replace out lst. I hope our govt will find a good lst out there. We should build our own bacolod, tagbanua and manobo class cause the design is simple.

  2. Where the support/guard/escort ship? Surely amphibious operation will not go without an escort.

    Do Philippine amphibious ship is heavily arms?

    1. As these are made for troop and equipment transport purposes only, they are armed with MGs ranging from medium to heavy calibers for self-defense only. Fire support and escort are typically provided by warships ranging from coastal patrol boats to frigates in open-water.

    2. In the context of transferring troops and goods within the country, I believe the PN has the capability to escort this amphibious ships. The Peacock class or even the old DE's will be more than enough to force a landing in insurgent held beaches (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi come into mind).. On the other hand it is severely lacking capable escorts if you had to use it in the West Philippine sea. The list that needs to be addressed is to say the least, is depressing.

    3. Originally the acquisition of the Hamilton-class ships were premised as escorts for the upcoming amphibious assault ships, with the project named as "Ocean-going Escort Vessel".

  3. These ships would be easier to procure since they are HADR assets, I hope the PN gets these assets to a respectable number and be done with it. PH lacks so many other ship types that it can not focus on HADR extensively. Granted the PN uses these HADR ships for other purposes, they are not built for true sea fighting.

    As OPVs, okay, not really ideal, but it can double as OPVs until we get real OPVs. The GDP-class are OPVs at the moment, but PN would be promoting them as real surface combatants in the future, which I can agree with them, as adding missile systems would make them serious threats to OPFOR.

    As for the SSVs, I like them and PH needs them. Since these are going to be flagships, I hope they install not just a 76mm gun and .50 cals, but also Mk 38 Mod 2s and hopefully a RAM 116. If not a RAM 116, a Mistral would do.

    I would like to think the SSVs will be escorted by at least 1 corvette during missions, but since we lack surface combatants, it wouldn't really be asking too much if the flagship carrying hundreds of troops, dozens of amphibious craft and armored vehicles would be capable of defending herself.

    - Neo

  4. "There are even plans to acquire more transport and amphibious assets from other countries, both new and used," - French BATRAL's?? any news/rumors from the Hollande visit?

    1. No word if Batrals came into discussion. But as far as I know there were previous offers to acquire the remaining Batrals in French service.

  5. Are there any possibilities that the PN will buy Landing Craft Air Cusion??coz I think it is also a big help in terms of HADR Ops.

    1. Probably not. Too expensive, too complicated.

    2. There is nothing expensive in terms of Countries defense sir Max this mentality should be set in our Politics mind.

    3. How about the M/V Susitna...What happened to the PN's interest in this SWATH E-Craft. Seems to have faded in the passing of time. Our government is such a let-down with frequent delays and cancellations in procuring the AFPs much-needed military hardwares. Better for the AFP to assist the People Power advocates in replacing the Pnoy Administraton with a military Council that will accelerate the militarization of our country. Our government has failed us in defending and reclaiming back our territories in Sabah, Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal and Muslim rebel-infested Mindanao/Sulu islands and NPA-occupied territories.

    4. Sir Max how about locally made Amphibious Landing ship why not built at least 1 or 2 for a 3 years plan like BRP Tagbanua? With this the local industries will be greatly enhance and develop the technology in ship building particularly for PN and Coastguard.

    5. Mcpadz, let us be realistic first. We already know that budget for all this things is not easy to come by. The PN will do with what they have, although any increased assistance from the government will be a great push. With so many lacking items in the AFP's capability, the LCAC would probably be the last thing we can see right now, with the PN probably filling up the basics first.

    6. Plans for additional ships like the Tagbanua has always been in the pipeline. But let the PN see first what are the things they learn frm the design of the Tagbanua, what do they need to change and improve, replace, or retain.

  6. Now that we have this small numbers, our AFP and Gov't must start producing our own since, we already did it for Tagbanua class.... our Gov't must not just relay on friendly countries donation... For the MPAC we already have six and another 3 to come our AFP and Gov't must continuously produce this type and upgrade it with bigger size while waiting the completion of until now pending big navy tickets.

  7. Someday the navy will have 20 LST's again all brand new........someday.

    1. That's next to impossible

  8. If the phil govf can afford to acquire a much bigger amphibitious vessel like the LPD of Singapore, Our Us ambassador must lobby for the acquisition of USS PELELIU due to decommission this March. This amphibiouz attack vessel is a defense multiplier for the PN. Not that the WHEC donations is still uncertain, the DFA and DND must mull for its acquisifion this year . What is the possibility Senor MAX

  9. The AFP Lacks assets to serve us in case of war and emergency like Storms, Earthquakes and etc.

    We lack LCU's, MRV's and etc for troop, vehicle and supply transport.
    We lack OPV's for EEZ patrol
    We lack combat vessels (Frigates, corvettes, and etc)
    We lack Air lift capabilities ( C-130's helicopters)
    We lack anti-air, anti-surface, anti sub ( Missiles, Manpads, torpedo, and etc)
    In short we lack everything in the AFP,.

    So, where the hell are the Government spending the money that we tax payers are paying.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi Max,
    Since this is out of the topic and AFP already declares all out war with BIFF will the DND top brass ever thinking of buying more APC's or IFVs for our gallant soldiers on the fileds? Though we have already surplus M113 I dont think they can help much since they are for lightly armored will DND and AFP considering to buy the likes of SK K21, French VBCI IFV or Italian Freccias how about BMP3 from Russia or those APC with 76mm/90mm guns? Probably bthese are field infantry best fire support system now.

  12. Max , with the ongoing plans of replenishing the depleting amphibious capability of the PN . It would be more on the commonality sense basing on their current fleet of LSV the " Bacolod class " to purchase or produce the same particular class . Since the onset of your articles regarding the HADR and amphibious assets for the PN and the pending SSV vessels, I've search possible contenders but" General Besson" class in my opinion would be a smarter choice if available under the current situation . In fact , I was able to see some schematic designs courtesy of Naval technology of different configurations ranging from a helicopter variant to a semi submersible and to a troop transport variant. Perhaps if given the budget and availability , 2 additional Bacolod class and 5 " Tagbanua class " to fill in the PN requirements plus the 5 proposed "Balikpapan " class would bring the PN amphibious assets up to par . With the current plan base on the defense force mix of 4 SSV ships plus what was mentioned , this will may put the PN to a level of providing the necessary provisions and support of what lies ahead in the 21st century and the current geopolitical that we are facing.

  13. sir max, ang daming kukang na gamit....ang daming wala na gamit for AFP....kelan magigising ang mga politiko natin na we are facing a very dangerous situation in our country...the internal conflict in the south, the communist insurgent for the longest time and the west phil sea prob...again 2016 is very near that we have to chose a new leader...sana magising ang mga pilipino...

    1. Matagal nang gising mga yan... kunyare lang na tulog pa

  14. Question: If the west sea can't be protected by ship, why not just deploy naval mines?

    1. if worse come to worse and the chinese attack in the next couple of years then the AFP may have no choice but to resort to this...but then mine laying is also no simple matter and the PN has practically no experience and capability with this, plus the political and economic implications of mining areas that could be part of international sea lanes.

    2. Not workable:
      1. Wide open sea, good luck covering them
      2. Mines are dumb. First freighter that gets too close gets blown up, regardless of which flag it flies. Could even be a Filipino ship.

    3. To answer that question:
      1. Under UNCLOS, all coastal countries are entitled to territorial waters out to 12 nautical miles from shore. Territorial waters are considered the sovereign territory of a country. Ships of foreign countries, both civilian and military are allowed "innocent passage" through territorial waters, but are subject to certain restrictions.
      2. Waters beyond 12 nautical miles are considered international waters. Ships of any nation may pass unrestricted.
      3. All coastal nations are allowed by UNCLOS an exclusive economic zone out to a distance of 200 nautical miles. Within that area, a country has exclusive rights to economically develop those waters (mining, fishing, oil exploration, etc.).
      4. The Hague Convention governs the use of naval mines. Countries at war are permitted to mine their own territorial waters. It does not expressly prohibit mining international waters, but it does specify that precautions must be taken in order to safeguard peaceful and neutral shipping. As such, under the Hague Conventions, if mines are laid in international waters, the country laying the mines is required to declare that a particular body of water was mined. They are not required to declare specifically where in that body of water the mines were laid. For example, during WW2, the British were required to announce that the North Sea was mined. However, they were not required to say where (they could have been laid anywhere between Norway and the English Channel, and the English coast to Denmark).

      What does this mean?

      1. Not all of the WPS can be considered to be Philippine territorial waters. The Philippines is entitled to 12 nautical miles from shore, and by extension the islands of the Kalayaan Island Group have a 12 mile limit as well. According to the Hague Conventions, these waters can be mined (though since the status of the Kalayaan Islands is not internationally recognized, the ability to mine those waters may also be disputed).
      2. Although the Philippines has an EEZ out to 200 nautical miles, these are also considered to be international waters. Ships of all nations (even China) may sail in those waters. They just can't drop a net to fish or hunt for oil. Mining those waters may be considered to be an act of war on the part of the Philippines.
      3. The Chinese believe that most of the WPS is part of their territorial waters. Therefore, their behavior has been such that they have been challenging vessels that have been entering them. If they were to take things one step further, they could attempt to mine the WPS on the justification that it is part of their territorial waters.
      4. Major shipping lanes pass through those waters, particularly those ships trying to travel from Singapore and the Straits of Molacca to Japan and South Korea. If either China or the Philippines were to deploy naval mines in the WPS, it would be cause for alarm by the international community because it would impede freedom of navigation for all countries.

    4. You can't. It is only advisable to put 'Naval mines where they can be used offensively—to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour; or defensively—to protect friendly vessels and create "safe" zones.' Aside from that the West Philippine Sea is a trading route.

    5. As the original questioner i thank everyone for answering.

      But after reading all the answer, i still think it can be done, but with some change that need to be done to the plan.

      1. Then just mine inside the 12 nautical miles from shore. Not the ZEE or international water. it's within Philippine jurisdiction and this will stop China visiting the islands or enter the sea around it.

      2. Declare it to the world that the sea around the island is mined. This will make most ship to reroute. In fact i even doubt there is a shipping line so close to the islands. They after all tend to stay in international water.

      3. If necessary provide an escort, this will make the commercial ship safe and deter intruder as if they want safety passage they must ask PN for guidance.

      4. Is this the time to concern about what China feel? They don't seem to concern about what other nation feel. They put Air Defense Identification Zone policy without asking anyone if they like it or not.

    6. China will just use it's minesweepers to sweep away whatever naval mines we place in our territorial sea. What we need are long-range coastal-based anti-ship missiles to have an offensive naval capability and SAM missile batteries to protect our anti-ship missiles from aircraft and missile attack as a defensive measure.

  15. I hope PN will buy lots of small boats for patrol purposes in Mindanao so that unlawful groups will have a hard time island hopping between PH and MLA.
    Even small boats based on the Chamsuris of S.Korea loaded with Bofors cannon will be perfect.
    - Ronald Javier

    1. Why not ghannatha class missile boats, slightly longer than our mpac.

    2. Yes, you are right, we need huge numbers of small & fast MPACs like the CB90-class fast assault craft.

  16. Both at more or less 20 million dollar
    why is best

    kfir block 60
    textron scorpion

  17. The most important thing I think we can do right now, is to push and pressure the Government Aquino to make a better preparation on how to develop the Ayungin shoal in the soonest possible time as well as in UNCLOS decision. Did all you know that it is the most hottest shoal that the China want to get by this year next to Scarborough shoal? Do our Armed Forces ready to the new tactic that this Chinese Mongoloid is planning of? They have to use again their fishermen as a reason to get this Ayungin shoal without any compliment to our Armed Forces. I beg you guys. I dont think how prepared is our Government right after this Chinese construction in Renai with their helipad, mini airport and wharf and then to implement their identification zone and will block our supply plane to go right inside the Ayungin shoal. This is not a big issue I think with our Armed Forces but for Chinese is that they are eager to get this Ayungin shoal no matter what. Cabbage strategy is the best Chinese strategy to apply in this scenario. Good luck to our Philippine Marines who station in the BRP Sierra Madre.

  18. Rather than Kfir block 60 or Textron Scorpion I would spend the money on T-50 Golden Eagle. The pure trainer version. That will free up the FA-50 from training use and allow the FA-50 squadron to concentrate on combat missions.

  19. Is there a possibility of procuring a Hospital Ship since we are prone to natural disasters. It would be a good asset since it can perform more on civilian duties.

    1. Possibility? Yes. But probably not before 2018. Like it or not, it is unlikely that money will be budgeted toward a full hospital ship in the next two years. The next administration will be the one who budgets such a purchase.

      In the meanwhile, the SSV design has space for a mini-hospital. How well those mini-hospitals will be equipped will depend on how much money the government is willing to spend on them.


    Sorry OT but I just would like to share. Is this true Sir Max, that the DND is rescheduling the CAS project coz they are interested with the Scorpion?

  21. I think the PN planners has the wrong priorities in it's procurement of naval assets. We know that the PN is no match against the PLA navy so why buy just a few Frigates w/c cannot kick out China's frigates & maritime ships patrolling and defending our own reefs & EEZ for the benefit of China. Why not just buy many small & fast missile/torpedo-armed MPACs w/c can be useful in catching illegal Chinese fishing boats poaching our EEZ marine resources. The frigates are just for show and display while the MPACs, accompanied & supported by LSDs, can equally do the patrolling even at the outer edges of our EEZ. Frigates are used for battle during times of war and even if our skirmishes with China escalates into a war, China can easily decimate all our PN ships in a short period of time. Better buy MRFs & missile batteries than frigates.

    1. U mean MLRs and missile batteries? And put it where? On island? Without radar? They will be useless and will rusted.

      Better use the money to build a better outpost for soldier/marine that was station on that islands.

    2. Of course, long-range radars always goes together with missiles placed on the mainland. MLRs do not have the range and putting marines on small islets and reefs will only place their lives to waste with no place to run unlike at the mainland where they can move freely and take coverat forest covers and mountainsides.1, 2 or 3 tomahawk cruise missiles will finish off any living thing on Mabini or MIschief Reef or shoal.


    Maybe Navantia could offer this to the PN

  23. The modernization of the DND and AFP are way off mark specially the concentration on HADR and lift, specially the SSV. The LCH are OK - cheap and readily available, so with the Tagbanua.

    Why the heck do you spend a lot of money on the SSV's when what the PH lack is naval firepower - corvettes, FACs, gunboats. They should have just rehabilitated and upgraded all their LSTs, LSV's, LCUs, Auxs, tankers etc, and if still not enough, lease civilian lift like the US does. In a pinch, the del Pilar OPVs, the DE, ex-777, even the Auks and PCEs can do personnel logistics. We can even do a Dunkirk in a lot of instances for emergencies. The only problem is the commissions are lower and takes a lot of doing.

    The money spent for the 2 expensive SSV's could have gotten us at least 4 upgraded missile corvettes IMMEDIATELY. However, they need to look like their American masters in big new expensive ships, and do naval parades on US controlled convoys.

    This situation is a symptom of the US captured decision making in the AFP DND where the US wants us weak and unable to pursue our own independent actions. They want our dependency forever so we follow their American agenda - be under their command and control when the US decides it's time to use the Philippines in their war with China. They are even using us now in their US bases in the Philippines that they hide using words like 'colocation', 'visiting', 'enhancement', 'training', 'replenishment', 'r and r' etc. But for all intents and purposes, these are US military bases similar to those in other countries.

    It's time we have our own strong defense system, under our own agenda. And HADR assets won't hack it.

    1. Exactly! why the SSV's? The money could have been used for several second-hand warships that will actually boost our combat capabilities. Gregorio Del Pilar cost us 10 million dollars, and the SSV's are for 90 million. So that's 9 GDP frigates for the navy, or we could have also used that money for missile systems on Gregorio Del Pilar and Ramon Alcaraz and maybe even more Pohangs or perhaps Ulsans. If they want HADR assets, then just build more Dagupan LSV's and Tagbanua LCU's, cheaper and will get us more ships and will also boost shipbuilding industry


  24. Sure the transport capability will be upgraded but Sir Max when is the bidding for the new frigates? Is it done? If so who won the bidding?

  25. If Napoles's 10 billion pesos worth of stolen money (I do hope Napoles ends up in hell to burn while demons fuck her in the ass while she sucks Satan's dick) was used for the AFP, it could have been a third frigate, or another squadron of FA-50's. Unrelated, but, is there any way the government can recover the 10B pesos?