Friday, May 29, 2015

Updates on the PAF's Long Range Patrol Aircraft Acquisition - It looks like the P-3C Orion afterall

Since the failure of the 1st bidding attempt for the Philippine Air Force's (PAF) Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) acquisition project, the Department of National Defense (DND) has not restarted the bidding for a second attempt, which is the most possible direction the DND would be going to. None of the possible bidders made it through the submission of bids, even after Elbit Systems and IAI Elta, both from Israel, submitted their Motion for Reconsideration for the DND to consider their bids.

The other contenders for the project were Saab Asia Pacific, L3 Mission Integration, Lockheed Martin, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, and CASA-Airbus Defense and Space. This project and bid failure was previously discussed in an older MaxDefense blog entry's update section dated August 11, 2014 (bottom part).

With China's aggressive expansion in the West Philippine Sea, including the Kalayaan Group of Islands and the Philippines' own Exclusive Economic Zone, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been dependent on the limited surveillance capbilities of the PAF's Fokker F-27 Friendships, C-130 Hercules, and N-22B Nomads, as well as the Philippine Navy's BN-2 Islander fixed wing aircraft. All of these are not designed for maritime patrol and surveillance and are actually tactical transport aircraft. Aside from these assets, the AFP has become dependent on the information provided by the US military through the US Navy's P-3C Orion and P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircrafts. Both types are rotationally stationed at Clark Air Base in Pampanga in support of maritime patrols at the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea area.


The Lockheed P-3C Orion is currently the most prolific MPA asset of the US Navy.



Without a truly capable maritime patrol surveillance capability, this type of aircraft has become one of the most sought-after equipment for the AFP Modernization Program. With the recent updates on the policies of the United States government, as well as other friendly countries like Japan and Australia, other options have been made available to the DND & AFP to fill-in this requirement. But one thing is certain: all options from these countries revolve around the Lockheed P-3C Orion MPA.


Previously the PAF operated F-27MPA Maritime Patrol Aircraft like the one shown above, but were retired only after a few years after losses and lack of maintenance.



The Lockheed P-3C Orion:
Ever since the PAF sought for a replacement for its Fokker F-27MPA Maritimes in the late 1980s, they have always been fixated at the possibility of acquiring the Lockheed P-3 Orion from the Americans. This was especially true they try to compare themselves with other American allies in the Western Pacific region like South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, who all have this aircraft in their inventories. The aircraft's ruggedness and flight performance, proven surveillance capabilities, compatibility and interoperability with the Philippines' main ally and strategic partners made it a very logical choice.


Among other ASEAN militaries, only Thailand operates the P-3 as its primary MPA asset.
Photo copyright Analayo Korsakul c/o Airliners.net. 


Its surveillance systems are designed to detect and monitor surface activities, as well as detecting submarines underneath the sea. Aside from being a surveillance platform, it also has the capabilities to carry and launch US-standard anti-submarine torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, as well as depth charges which makes it an all-in-one platform for naval purposes.

Although bristling with all the bells and whistles that the PAF and PN dreams off, there are also downsides on the Orion, mainly on its airframe and design age, and operating costs. Being an aircraft model based on the 1950s Lockheed Electra turboprop airliner, the design has become out of date. And with the "Charlie" model built by Lockheed in the 1970s to 1980s, the airframes are now reaching almost 40 years old on the first batches. Its 4-engine configuration using the Allison T56, which is the same as those used by the Lockheed C-130H in PAF service, are also expected to consume more fuel than smaller, newer 2-engined aircraft like the CASA-Airbus C-295 already in service with the PAF. There were already previous reports wherein the PAF was having difficulty operating C-130s because of fuel consumption, so operating the P-3C won't be any different.

Spare parts will also be another issue, as it is only available from the US, and partly from Japan (being a licensed builder of the type), and new parts will surely be on a decline as the type is already out of production, and most major P-3 operators are already shifting to newer models like the USN and RAAF to the P-8A, and the JMSDF to the P-1. These were actually among the reasons why the DND decided to go for a public bidding process to acquire MPA for the PAF. But for some reason, the decision to reconsider the plan to acquire P-3C might mean some positive changes in the defense planning and budget allocations for the PAF recently that may not be available to the public.


An illustration of the Lockheed P-3C Orion showing its design features.




Recently, there were several news reports of the Philippine government's agreements with the US and Japanese government for military assistance including possible transfer of excess defense articles. And the most reported equipment being prioritized for transfer are P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.


A JMSDF P-3C (left) and a USN P-3C (right) fly overhead a USN Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Houston (center) during Exercise Keen Sword 2011.
Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons.



The Main Option: US Navy Lockheed P-3C:
With the US Navy being the main user of the P-3C, and is slowly shifting to the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon to replace the old workhorse, the US is the most possible source of excess P-3C for the PAF. It is believed that this request, among with other equipment, were discussed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and his American counterpart Ashton Carter in Hawaii mid this week. Some DND and PAF sources told MaxDefense recently that there was a request for between 2 to 4 P-3C Orions to the Americans for use and deployment to WPS patrol missions, although it is also unconfirmed yet if it was the Americans who made the offer. They are expected to operate together with USN P-3C and P-8A aircraft based in Japan but are temporarily stationed at Clark Air Base.

The most possible option is for the Americans to transfer aircraft that are stored by the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) in the continental United States, and refurbish it as part of a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal. But there is a possibility, due to the urgency of the requirement, for the DND to push for a "hot transfer" of the aircraft, meaning a direct transfer of a servicable unit to the PAF with refurbishing to follow later on, to speed-up the process. 


USN P-3C Orions rotationally based at Clark Air Base. A hot transfer can be made by directly handing over a fully-serviceable aircraft to the Philippine Air Force while the aircraft is in the Philippines.
Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons.




The Secondary Option: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kawasaki P-3C Orion:
Aside from the Americans, another possible option of sourcing P-3C are those from Japan. Built under license by Kawasaki starting in 1978 up to 1997, the P-3C used by the JMSDF are said to be among the most well maintained and newest airframes in the world. Japan currently operates the second largest fleet of P-3C Orions in the world, but will be slowly shifting to the longer ranged, newer, jet powered, and homegrown Kawasaki P-1 aircraft. 

Being among the most affected by the aggressiveness of China, Japan is a more willing partner in strengthening the capability of the Philippine armed forces, in the hope that a strong AFP can be an effective force in a common goal of containing China's expansion efforts, and to be a strong partner for stability in the region. Japan has always been open in providing the necessary aid to its friendly neighbors, and with its recent changes in policy of exporting weapons and arms, the Philippines are among those expected to be on the receiving end. Recent press releases already indicated the request by the Philippine government for excess P-3C Orions from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, an indication that such possibility is becoming reachable.

It should be of important note that Pres. Aquino is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week, and among those expected to be discussed is the framework on the transfer of defense equipment and technology to the Philippines.


The JMSDF is the second largest operator of the P-3C Orion. Theirs were built under license locally by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The P-3C in the JMSDF are scheduled to be slowly replaced by the new Kawasaki P-1.
Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons.


MaxDefense sources also indicated a short term request for around 2 to 4 P-3C Orions are among those included in documents provided by the DND to Japan's Ministry of Defense of possible arms for transfer or sale to the Philippine government. But sourcing from Japan might not bear immediate fruit, due to the timing of replacing their fleet by the new home-grown Kawasaki P-1 which will not be made in a fast pace, and due to political reasons related to their recent shift of policy in defense and security. But Japanese sourced P-3C can be a very good option in the long run, as more units can be made available to the PAF, either as spares source or as additional aircraft to meet its longer term goal of having at least 6 long range MPA in the PAF's inventory.


A JMSDF P-3C Orion MPA.
Photo taken from Today's Atsugi blogsite.




The Dark Horse: Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion:
A possible 3rd source of P-3 Orions can be those from Australia, another friendly country with an interest in the stability of the West Philippine Sea. The Royal Australian Air Force has already started reducing the Orion fleet and replacing it in the next few years. Their aircraft, called the AP-3C, is an upgraded version made by L-3 Communications with new mission systems, radar, and accoustic systems.

Previous reports indicated that the RAAF have retired at least 2 AP-3C aircraft at the end of 2014, and these might be available for transfer subject to approval by the Australian and US governments. Aside from the 2 retired aircraft, the RAAF is expected to retire another batch of aircraft starting December 2015 until 2016. The RAAF will start receiving their recently ordered Boeing P-8A Poseidon starting 2017, and the AP-3C are expected to be fully retired from RAAF service by 2019.

Should the 2 retired aircraft be made available for the Philippines, it would be possible to have the aircraft by next year, and could be among the fastest options available to the PAF. 



AP-3C Orion MPA of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Photo taken from Air Force Technology website.




PAF and PN Training in Modern MPA Operation:
The Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy have been ramping up their chances in gaining experience with working on modern MPA from the US Navy, as well as the Royal Australian Air Force. The USN have been flying P-3C and P-8A from Clark Air Base for some time now, and has allowed PAF and PN personnel to go with them at several occassions. Their recent announcement to continue and even increase their sorties on maritime patrol in the WPS and SCS could also provide Philippine personnel some flight time aboard these aircraft. 

Recently, the RAAF also deployed their AP-3C to the Philippines during Balikatan Exercises 2014, and gave PAF and PN officers and men a chance to observe and learn from standard maritime and anti submarine patrols, and see the capabilities of the aircraft.


PAF personnel aboard a RAAF AP-3C Orion as observers during Balikatan Exercises 2014.
Photo taken from the Australian Defence Magazine.


Filipino officers with US Navy aircrew aboard a P-8A Poseidon aircraft during one of its patrols in the West Philippine Sea.
Photo taken from Rappler's website.



With Japan possibly trying to get access to temporarily and rotationally base some of their surveillance aircraft in the Philippines (which definitely includes the P-3C), it is not far fetched that the JMSDF would be giving PAF and PN personnel the training and experience they need in MPA operations, as part of the agreement. This is in addition to those already provided by the US Navy.



MaxDefense's Opinion:
The P-3C, although the platform is aged, is still a capable maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare platform that is at par or even exceed the capabilities of newer models like those offered to the Philippine Air Force last year. Being the standard MPA of many of the country's security and strategic partners, having them in the short and medium term goals (2015-2022) could be beneficial to meet the immediate requirements sought after by the AFP and the Philippine government as a whole. They are also the fastest possible option right now to fill-up the gaps in the capability of the Philippine military.

Being at par with modern standards, the P-3C is also a suitable bridge to build up the knowledge, experience, and capability of the Philippines and catch-up with the rest of the world, while preparing for more capable platforms in the future.

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The DND and AFP must not only look at the short and medium term goals. Ultimately, the P-3C will need a replacement by a newer and more capable model in the long term (starting 2022 and beyond), and while the P-3s are expected to serve for at least 15 more years with the PAF (as stipulated by the law), the Philippine government should not be complacent again as it did in the past when it forego a chance to replace the Fokker F-27MPA and lose the knowledge and capabilities the PAF once had.

MaxDefense would be closely monitoring the upcoming meeting between Pres. Aquino and PM Abe next week, as it might have some positive implications for this acquisition project.






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UPDATES:
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June 8, 2015:
With the visit of Pres. Aquino to Japan resulting to agreements that will help pave the way for Japan to transfer defense equipment to the Philippines, among those being touted as requested by the Philippines DND are for anti-submarine surveillance aircraft. Although unnamed, it would definitely imply to the P-3C Orion built by Kawasaki, wherein Japan has been retiring a number for quite some time now. Some press reports sourced from Japanese media also directly indicated the P-3C as offered by Japan. The reports also indicated that radar systems were also among those considered for transfer, although not much information was provided on what type.

According to MaxDefense sources, the Philippines and Japan are working for the transfer, either by grant (assistance) or heavily discounted sale, of somewhere between 2 to 4 P-3C aircraft, depending on the finalized discussions that are expected to proceed within the year. The aircraft could be sourced from earlier retired units stored in Japan, and/or from existing fleet aircraft that are scheduled to be retired either late this year or by next year through hot transfer. But be wary of erroneous posts being circulated online by some so-called defense groups that confirms the transfer of 4 P-3C from Japan. Be aware that all these are still being discussed and there is no finalized agreement yet on the proposed transfers. Until a final agreement is reached, everything discussed here can only be considered as plans and proposals.

There are worries that the US might restrict or block the transfer of the aircraft, or certain important parts or systems of the aircraft, but MaxDefense sources from the DND confirmed that the US government and Department of Defense are not expected to restirct or block the aircraft's transfer from Japan to the Philippines. In fact, the US government is also looking at providing US-built P-3C through Foreign Military Sales or Foreign Military Assistance aside from those offered by Japan. More worries are actually on the ability of the Philippine Air Force to absorb the P-3C, as the PAF (and Philippine Navy too) will need some time to train and master the operation and maintenance of the aircraft, which might be too advanced for the PAF and PN to immediately be proficient in.

Aside from P-3C, the DND is said to have included in their papers submitted to the Japanese MoD of what else could be transfered to the Philippines, which may include HADR capable equipment, which includes transport aircraft like JASDF C-130H Hercules, and JGSDF UH-1H and UH-1J Huey helicopters.


===============
June 25, 2015:
The Department of National Defense (DND) finally confirmed their intention to acquire used Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft from Japan. These was made by the DND's spokesperson, Dr. Peter Paul Galvez, on June 25, 2015. He said that those being considered are from the excess defense article sources of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the operator of the P-3C in the Japan SDF.

Another news report came out within the day, sourced from an anonymous DND official, saying that the DND was interested to acquire around 4 to 6 units of ex-JMSDF P-3C Orions, a number that is far greater than what was earlier confirmed by MaxDefense sources of around 2 to 4 units. But the report's source was negative on the possible inclusion of US-made surveillance systems, particularly the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite which is the most important system of the aircraft, due to possible US government rejection of such transfer to the Philippine armed forces. It's absence from the aircraft system would reduce the aircraft to be only capable of surface warfare and surveillance which is a far cry from a modern maritime patrol aircraft's capability.  

MaxDefense believes that this would be a test to the Philippines' close relations with the United States, and to the meaning of being a Major Non-NATO Ally. The ASW suite is the cornerstone of the P-3C's capability, and it's absence from the aircraft system would reduce the aircraft to only be capable of surface warfare and surveillance, which is a far cry from a modern maritime patrol aircraft's capability. This would not enable the Philippines to use the aircraft to detect submarines entering its territorial, archipelagic, and EEZ waters. The only solution aside from pushing the US to allow the ASW suite's transfer is to acquire them from Japanese or other sources. This is possible, but this would definitely cost the Philippine government, and would delay the deployment of the aircraft despite the urgency because of the threat from China.

The ASW system's absence could also mean that the US does not entrust the Philippines with such capability. Considering that the P-3C is not the US military's premier maritime patrol aircraft anymore with the introduction of the newer and more capable Boeing P-8A Poseidon, this could definitely be damaging to the relationship between the allies, and could be used by those left-wing opposition groups who are against the AFP Modernization, the VFA & EDCA with the US to support their reasons to reject these agreements and push their own unhelpful cause.

Aside from pursuing the acquisition of P-3C Orions, the DND also confirmed that the Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) project for the Philippine Air Force is still a go, although the bidding could not proceed because it was among those pending due to Malacanang's decision not to abruptly sign the Revised AFP Modernization Act for reasons still not confirmed by both the DND and the Office of the President. This project is said to run astride with the P-3C Orion acquisition, alhough the concept of operating two types of MPA aircraft is still questionable.

46 comments:

  1. PAF's Fokker F-27 Friendships, C-130 Hercules, and N-22B Nomads, as well as the Philippine Navy's BN-2 Islander fixed wing aircraft. All of these are not designed for maritime patrol and surveillance

    Max should look into the MPA versions of these from even way back the 1960s. The P-3 is expensive to maintain, and if the government is hell bent on getting US equipment, they should look into the E-2 Hawkeye.

    If they really want fast track, they can buy the Airborne SCAR Pod that can easily be integrated into many aircraft.

    We should stop fighting like a rich country, and fight as Filipino wais asymmetrically to maintain our sovereignty and independence.

    Lapulapu

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  2. I think having a mix of p3 & c-295 mpa is better just look at chile they use the p-3 & c-295 to compliment each other even refusing to let go of older p-3 bec. It has capabilities that c-295 cant match

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    1. Agree with you and the urgency given the situation. Also, with this growing capabilities, PN/PAF can acquire in future the P1 from Japan or even the P8 if the government supports it.

      wEel^

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    2. i read the recent article with statement from the PN it is leaving it up to the PAF to operate the P3C...maybe the PN then could purchase the maritime patrol version of the c-295 to complement the PAF's mission....the C-295 is also cheaper to operate so it could be tasked with more search and rescue operations, and its maritime surveillance role will be complementary.

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  3. Well, orion is a very good mpa, but I doubt if we can maintain and afford the operational use of this aircraft.

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  4. Another press release.The modernization program is facing delays already and now they want to get hold on these expensive and old platforms? I think they are expert in story-telling.What happen to the missile system of the del pilar's? I think its under study up to now. Hahaha. Election is next year already and why would Pnoy pay importance to these modernization efforts? Ever since BBL surface he is clearly busy peddling this to all congressmen and senators hoping for an approval. To him BBL is more important. Even the SAF 44 issue is silent already how much more these modernization programs.Renbios

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  5. I hope MBT was also on the list submitted to Japan.

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  6. Go Mr. Aquino... we truly believe in your dedication to modernize our AFP. WE always support your initiative. Hope your trip to Japan will be fruitful and will you have a good news when you come back here in Manila.

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  7. Maritime Patrol Aircraft is a nice asset for the AFP, i wish that DND should expedite all the required hardware for the AFP.

    But if I were you DND officials i will concentrate on PN Ship cause the ship can stay longer in the sea/offshore, can carry mass and heavy arm, can be a air and sea and can be either undersea defense platform have you think of that gentlemen?.

    We acknowledge all of your effort Gentlemen but instead of wasting your time on limited capabilities why don't you pour all you effort to a heavy capabilities (ship)!!!

    mcpadz

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  8. Acquiring a squadron of P 3C MPA would be the fastest solution in maintaining our presence in the WPS at the same time provide us an up to date surveillance of China's military movements . This would be a stopgap on our long overdue PN ships . This would also be a good training ground for PAF MPA capabilities and this would also serve as a jump off point for the upcoming newer LRPA . If this would be the case , then a "hot transfer of at least 3 aircrafts would a good starting numbers for the PAF together with the offensive and defensive assets of the P3C . I just hope that this trip in Japan would give both countries some common ground at the same time a better view of what approach is necessary to provide security and freedom of navigation In the WPS .

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  9. Can we maintain this newer and more complex plane, when we can't even maintain the previous plane?

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  10. The appropriate MPA for our country is the Islander or similar size aircraft like the P-750 of New Zealand, Quest Kodiak, Caravan, Pilatus PC-6 etc. This will enable us to cover the whole WPS at a cost that is affordable for us. The PADC can even revive its assembly line and the DOST do the sensors. Self Reliance philosophy again that will enhance our technology and economy.

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  11. I think it would be great to have these planes in service of our PAF and PN... This is a good investment... We are an archipelago state consisting of over 7,000 islands! We need these planes in our inventory to better protect our territory!

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    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_P-3_Orion

      Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force – 93 P-3C, five EP-3, five OP-3C, one UP-3C, three UP-3D.[40]

      The Kawasaki Corporation assembled five airframes produced by Lockheed, and then Kawasaki produced more than 100 P-3s under license in Japan.[41] Possible to being transferred to the Philippine Air Force.

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  12. Why not, the US navy is starting to replace the P-3C with the P-8A Poseidon. The Philippines can get enough for 2 squadrons for MPA. The P-3C is also capable of being used for AEW&C as well and the US Customs and border protection uses the P-3 AEW&C for survaillence work. The US has 154 P3C available as well.

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  13. The seeds of war have been sown by the Chinese communists. We Filipinos must prepare now and build up our military capabilities for the coming conflict. The Chinese may have built their artificial islands but those can be seized and/or destroyed when the time is right. Having inherent MPA capability now will help towards that objective.

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  14. @ Max: Just asking.. does the PN have any plans of acquiring their own MPA since they regularly train with PAF in MPA operations?

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    Replies
    1. Probably none, the PAF's LRPA/MPA is said to be manned by a composite team from the PAF and PN, with the PN most on the sensors operation and the PAF on flying the aircraft.

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  15. Everyone has been saying that the P-3C Orion is more expensive to operate vs a newer Airbus C295 MPA aircraft because of the number of engines installed on the P-3C. However, if we are just talking engine wise, the P-3C does not need all four engines to do its work. Once it has reached its desired spot or altitude, the operators can shutdown the two outboard engines thus increasing the Orion's range and loiter time without increasing its fuel consumption. Hence, the operational cost of the P-3C is more or less equivalent to the C295 which has been designed with only 2 engines. Of course there are other factors to consider like the additional equipment installed on the Orion which adds to the maintenance cost. However, cost does not mean anything when we are talking about cost of sovereignty.

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  16. Let us all campaign against Chiz Escudero, Franklin Drilon and many other politicians who don't support the AFP Modernization Program. Let us not forget Bongbong Marcos who blames the government for escalating the tensions in the West Philippine Sea by seeking the help of the US. Bongbong Marcos still wants to maintain a friendly relationship with China despite China's aggressive behavior by building islands inside our territory. These politicians are very unpatriotic.

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    Replies
    1. Rampant corruption in the Govt and AFP has made our defense weak.

      Delete
  17. PAY THE MONEY. GET THE AIRPLANE.

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  18. It is nice that some people are optimistic about what Mr. Aquino is doing but for me personally the delay of the 2 brand new frigates profoundly disappoints me. Our leaders have been reluctant to put money on the improvement of our miltary mainly our Navy and Air Force. They have spent less than 2 billion dollars and already they are already expecting to see modern equipments.

    We have leaders who are advocating that since we cannot defend ourselves we should just deal with China and get whatever we can get. This kind of mentality is symptomatic of the decay in the quality of leaders we have. They are instilling a WE CAN'T DO IT ATTITUDE TO OUR PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS. Bongbong Marcos, Chiz Escudero, Franklin Drilon and the likes all contribute to the disability of our military capability.

    If only a more aggressive push was done by the Aquino administration our soldiers by now would be having the necessary warships, jets, missiles and probably even submarines. The problem with the leadership of the country is that they are unpatriotic and are only interested in enriching themselves in office.

    Our leaders would rather beg other countries for second hand military equipment rather than buy brand new equipment for our soldiers. They would rather see an ill equip military so long as they are in office and enjoying the comforts of free public funds that they are continously mis-using for their own gains.

    I am just disappointed with the way our country is being run by leaders who behave more like gangsters and criminals. Our country has been unfortunate to have been run by leaders who are selfish and uncaring about the state of our nation.

    We are being bullied by almost all our neighbors. We cannot even defend our territory. Other countries have no respect for us because our leaders themselves have no respect for our country and the people they should be serving.

    Our nation deserves a strong leader who will give us a strong military and a strong economy...


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    Replies
    1. Any suggestion who that might be? All who were aspiring for the highest office are trapos. There is not a man or a woman in congress or in PNoy's cabinet who dare stand and say that we should fight our own fight nor was there anyone who said "let us exert effort in upgrading our external defense capapibility at the soonest possible time". Also the military leaders has no balls to ask congress for this contingency procurement, they would rather prefer the bureaucratic process moderninization that would take decades to realize. You heard Gen. Catapang asking a measly 1% from the national budget for the military when he could have asked 3-5%. As you can see most of our leaders mentality are still in a nutshell, and when actual war comes to us which i pray would not, they would be pointing fingers at each other and the people has to bear the shame and suffering

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    2. It will "once in a blue moon" chance that our country will have a leader with the strength, charisma and iron will to impose what is really necessary for our country and its peoples well being. It will all depend on the next years election.Rather than having a leader drunk himself and his cabinet with kickbacks and corruption in tax payers money. To be honest, I may not be just the ONLY one to appreciate President Aquinos effort in imposing to modernize our military, but because their are only too few people or non at all that assist our presidents goal towards a modern and well equip military force. We know he is also very busy with improving our economy and we can see the results in the news, even though not all of us benefit from it, especially from measly wagers and benefits we get. Bottom line is our presidents specialty is Economy Development and not actually into "guns and roses" that's why he really needs the assistance of those "know how" people to accomplish his goal. But back stabbing people like our "senate" and or maybe his "cabinet", even our so called transparent "DND" and its affiliates, have thrown does dreams and aspirations of our patriotic people to the thrash. So Let Hope and Pray that "all goes well that ends well" even no matter how delayed it maybe, and for the NEXT ADMINISTRATION to look back and continue the efforts to modernize and improve not just our ECONOMY, however should also include the "WELL BEING OF THE PEOPLE" and the SECURITY of this COUNTRY both FOREIGN and LOCAL.

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  19. Sir Max if we purchase the P3s will it include nti ship missiles and asw weaponry?

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    Replies
    1. It would definitely be separate from the aircraft. If sourced from Japan, maybe not. If sourced from the US, there might be a package to include torpedoes and/or anti ship missiles, plus the sonobuoys, etc.

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  20. sir max, do you have any news about the US-Philippine Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement?

    Critics have questioned the EDCA and pointed out that it is somehow against Philippines' sovereignty. It seems that these people are not aware on the hideous reclamation of china in the West Philippine Sea which is the very obvious thing that is against our sovereignty.

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    Replies
    1. The Supreme Court has not yet made a decision on it.

      Delete
  21. with the successful trip of Pnoy in Japan 2 days ago and with our new alliance with Japan against China. Philippine government should start asking Japan for more military equipment and weapon systems like tanks, apc, frigrates, missiles and jet fighters. both new and surplus.

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  22. Nagtataka nga rin ako kung bakit 2% GDP lang hiniling ni Catapang. He should have asked for 3-5% GDP. We all know that Senate will not grant 5% GDP but if he asked for 5% GDP, then maybe at least 3% GDP might be granted. He only asked for 2% GDP, so now i am expecting Senate to grant only 1-1.5% GDP. Very poor strategy by Catapang. Hindi ako bilib kay Catapang. Sino kaya nagadvice sa kanya na 2% GDP lang ang hilingin. 2% GDP is the average budget of countries that has no internal and external threats. We are now under threat at matagal na rin tayong nagtitiis sa less than 1% GDP. Right now our AFP budget is only at 0.8% GDP and our enemy is one of the strongest in the world.

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    Replies
    1. Because 2% is realistic and attainable, reasonable enough to approve. You request something higher than that, you might find yourself under attack and in the end you won't be getting anything.

      Delete
  23. Sir Max,

    Any plans on transferring at least 12x F15J's? I believe they 154 units of this..

    or CH-47J and UH-60J?

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  24. Maybe japan could throw in some ah-1s cobra hey i can dream cant i?

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    Replies
    1. They'll only grant/sell whatever equipment they won't be using anymore. If not for the introduction of P-1s to their inventory, they might not even offer us their P-3s.

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  25. Since we were able to open venues for acquiring military equipments from Japan we should also consider other equipment s that are being replaced by the JSDF. Thy are in a process of replacing some variants of their Mitsubishi H 60 . Since we have more experience in flying choppers the SH 60 would be a good starting point for the ASW of the navy . The UH 60 J can be considered as a medium lift aircraft for the 2 upcoming LPD . These ASW helicopters can be landbased and positioned strategically around WPS . It may take time for our troops to familiarize Themselves with this new equipments but we need to start somewhere and soon . Besides we do have a source that is willing to help us make it happen.

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  26. http://www.manilalivewire.com/2015/06/transfer-of-japans-aircraft-radars-and-patrol-vessels-for-the-philippines-on-its-way/

    A strategic deal was signed between Japan and Philippines for a transfer of military equipment specially p-3C Orion planes and sophisticated radar technology.

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  27. to dream is not wrong ,that we can achieved full modernizarion of our armed forces.but dont forget that elecction time is approaching there are politicians waiting to scrap the modernization of our armed forces.in order to make biso biso the chinese

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  28. Sir max, if ever we get the P3 Orion with stripped down equipment (ASW, surveillance), does DND have plans to reconfigure this planes to full pledge MPA with the necessary sensors as the original specifications? Do we need approval in doing such reconfiguration.

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    Replies
    1. There is no confirmation yet if the P-3C from Japan are stripped down. It's just a possibility raised by the anonymous DND official source of Malaya. So let's not be too hasty yet.

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  29. If these planes come without ASW equipment then it shows what is the true color of US on this Spratly/WPS issue...

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  30. It is possible for a normal Airbus 320-200 to be converted into a MPA with the help of japan??

    Just imagine that we will aquire the Decommissioned 17 year old A320 from PAL
    Then pay for sensor and weapon system..
    It will maybe cost less.. Isnt it sir max??

    Its just a suggestion.. What do you think??

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  31. Sir max, any news regarding the LRPA acquisition? It seems very quiet. What happened during the bidding last March 2016?

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